Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Spirit!

Just a bit of time left to vote on the goatee (please vote yes!) The poll is over to the right.

In the meantime, here's what we did last night.

Bailey carved a pumpkin. At work today, we were having a "sweets and treats" day, so I brought her pumpkin in for decoration. She did a great job on it.

Here's the finished product. We have two big pumpkins that she and a friend will carve tomorrow.

It's a cat - can you see it?

The other thing she and I did was make spider cupcakes. I got the idea from Bakerella. They came out really cute I think!

I couldn't find any black licorice, so we had to use red. Bailey put on all of the legs and eyes of each spider.

I used the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box for both the cupcakes and for the icing - except on the icing I ended up adding more butter, more powdered sugar, and more milk, until I had about doubled the recipe.

I've always had good success with that cake recipe - it's easy and turns out very moist.

Here's a spider without the sprinkles. Bailey is gonna eat this one later.

And to show you how our cat Twister (or Cow) participated during the evening - here he is playing with his tennis ball. He's very helpful.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Survey Says . . .

Please help me save my husband's most adorable goatee. If you have voted yes over to the right, please feel free to vote again.

If you want to vote no, (and I'm not totally convinced that both "NO" votes aren't Rominal's), then no need to vote, thankyouverymuch.

Thank you again for helping a girl out!

So, I am busy today playing with my new mixer. I'm currently making bread, but the day has just started so who knows what else I will make today.

I have a favor to ask of my readers. For my birthday, Rominal grew out his goatee for me. I love it, I think it makes him look even more handsome. I think he looks quite distinguished with it.

He, on the other hand, does not like it. He does not like the gray and he thinks it makes him look old.

Now that my birthday is over, Rominal is threatening to shave it off.

This is desperate times people. I need your help.

So, dear readers, what do you think? Don't let me persuade you (chose the goatee), please be honest. Goatee or no goatee. (Say yes to the goatee!)

I've put a poll out to the left so you can vote anonymously, but feel free to leave a comment as well - you know, something along the lines of how much you love the goatee. 'Cause you know you do.

To refresh your memory - here's some pictures to reference in your decision. These were all taken within the last couple of months, and the last one was even taken this morning.

No goatee:

Still quite handsome I will admit.

Or with the goatee:

Oh yeah!

Please vote today to save a goatee.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Weekend - Part 2

So, my fabulous birthday weekend continued into Sunday - when Rominal did ALL of the laundry. I mean he washed, folded, and put away all of the laundry. I didn't have to do any of it.

I just heard every woman out there go, "Ahhhhh!" Sorry people, he's mine.

With Rominal doing the laundry, I had time to play with my birthday present.

Can you guess what it is?

It's a new KitchenAid mixer - the big daddy one. And it looks great covered in flour!

Normally I like to get up early on Sundays and read the newspaper before anyone else in the house gets up. But this time I got up early Sunday morning and couldn't wait to start baking.

The first thing I made were these.

Baked Banana Donuts from The Noble Pig.

I love that her recipes are often healthier than what you would typically find. I would never make donuts for real, because god forbid I should learn how to make something that could potentially be habit forming. And eating donuts shouldn't become a habit - for me at least.

However, these baked donuts were ones that I could enjoy, while feeling good about eating them. And they were fantastic and super easy to make. Give them a try sometime!

Monday, October 19, 2009

My weekend!

I had the best weekend ever. Seriously. The best weekend ever.

So, I should mention that today is my birthday. As part of my birthday celebration, my husband said that we could do whatever I wanted - which was why my weekend was so wonderful.
It was such a good weekend that it will become the subject of several posts - just to tease everyone along.

It started on Friday. I received a case of POMWonderful 100% Pomegranate juice from the great people at POMWonderful because of my blog. How exciting is that? I was really quite flattered.

Anyway, I opened up a bottle Saturday morning just to have a quick taste and quickly drank the whole thing. It was really good - not too tart and not too sweet - just perfect. I have had their tea before, and really enjoyed it too. You can check them out at POMWonderful. They have lots of good recipes there as well.

I think tonight I will be trying to make some kind of chicken/pomegranate concoction. If it turns out well, I'll post about it later on.

So, back to my weekend . . .

Bailey had plans to spend the night with her close friend Brittany on Saturday, so we dropped her off and Rominal and I headed to Northpark Mall in Dallas. It had been a while since we had been there and it was a nice change. We had lunch outside (the weather here has been perfect - a slight chill in the air, but still sunny). After lunch I got a new pair of shoes, and then we were pleased to find that a group we have heard before, Mass Ensemble, was playing there during the day. I wrote about them back in April - that post is here. We were able to hang around and hear them, which was nice.

After that we went and got my birthday present (which I will save to talk about in another post), and then Rominal took me to see his office in Downtown Dallas. My brother, Eddie, was working that day so I got to see him as well. On the way home we stopped here,

And got these. . . Oh yeah baby! Sprinkles Cupcakes.

There's nothing like a strawberry cupcake for breakfast. And maybe another cupcake for lunch, and who's gonna say anything if you have one after dinner. Makes me want one now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mom's Brisket

Mom has given me a fail-proof brisket recipe. We have made this twice now and each time it has come out great. One of the times we cooked it in the oven, and the other time we cooked it on our grill - just being careful to keep the temperature right.

Here's Mom's instructions and I'll put my comments in italics:

Wrap brisket in heavy foil and put in large roaster fat side up (I remove as much of the fat as possible first - and so do I). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the foil up around it, and put the roaster lid on. Bake for 6 hours at 250. I will interject here - I don't think it matters what size or weight your brisket is - it's all the same. When we cooked the brisket on the grill, we just put the foil wrapped brisket in a disposable foil pan on top of the grill bars.

For the sauce, mix the following ingredients together in a saucepan and cook for thirty minutes on low: I recommend doubling this sauce mix - it is that good. Oh, and I never remember to start cooking this until time is almost up. I recommend starting the sauce at 5 hours of cooking.

  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 dashes Tabasco
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 2 tbls. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 dash liquid smoke
  • 1 dash soy sauce

After the brisket has baked for 6 hours, open the foil carefully to let the steam out without burning yourself (or have your husband do this). Avoid breaking the foil, though, because you’ll need to re-wrap the brisket. I siphon off most of the accumulated juices and save them.

Pour some of the sauce over the brisket, re-wrap, and bake for another hour. Save the remaining sauce for serving.

You can also use the juices from the brisket with some of the leftover meat. The juices are tasty, too, after you skim off the fat.

Here's the brisket while it's still in the foil.

And here's the finished product. Oh - I forgot to mention - be sure to cut your slices against the grain of the meat. Very important.

We made this with The Pioneer Woman's potatoes the other night and man were they good too!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

State Fair of Texas!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, Dad. I’m saying this to Dad since he has pointed out to me several times how sad it is that each day he comes to my blog and reads the very same entry, again and again.

Anyway – guess what time it is? It’s my annual State Fair of Texas post! Click here to see what we did and ate last year.

Our friends, Donna, Mark and their daughter Brittany came along with us. We were originally supposed to go to the fair tomorrow, because Monday is Columbus day and the kids are out of school. We all scheduled vacation days for Monday. In addition, Oprah is going to be there on Monday and I am a big fan and wanted to see her film her show.

However, I love, and by love I mean cherish my “last day of the weekend day,” which is usually a Sunday. I love to hang around the house (preferably in my pajamas) on the day before I have to go back to work for the week. It’s a day to get up early before anyone else does, have a cup of coffee and read the paper in peace. It’s a day to catch up on laundry. It’s a day to watch football. Oh, wait – that’s Rominal’s reason for liking Sundays.

Anyway – if we had gone to the fair on Monday, that would have meant that I would have missed my “last day of the weekend day.” So, we decided to go today, thus leaving us tomorrow as our day to recuperate and be our “last day of the weekend day.” I knew I would miss seeing Oprah, but I didn’t think we’d get too close to her anyway. Well, I was wrong! She and her friend Gayle were there. And we saw them!

Here they were filming in front of Big Tex.

Here they are ordering a Fletchers Corny Dog. Good choice Oprah!

And much later we were walking through a building and noticed a gathering. They were all waiting for Oprah and Gayle to come out of a room and go to their awaiting cars. Here they are leaving the building.

Ok – so enough Oprah talk. Let’s discuss the food we ate, shall we? Because after all, the State Fair of Texas has a reputation.

All of the food talk this year was about the new food item at the fair – the fried butter. Well, despite being a tad scared, we knew we had to try it. It was good. It was like a very buttery roll. They came 4 fried butters to an order, so we split that amongst us – so we figured we probably only ate about a stick of butter each. I’m kidding – probably only a ½ a stick!

Then we moved on to Fletchers Corny dogs – but we ate those so quickly that I forgot to take a picture of those. They are always good though. Of course Rominal had to get Jack’s French fries.

We also had a fried grilled cheese sandwich – which I enjoyed, but Donna got a bite that didn’t have any cheese – so she was not pleased.

The other food item that was all of the buzz was the fried peaches and cream.

We weren’t as happy with these. The peaches were hard (maybe they had to be to hold up to the frying) and the batter fell off. They weren’t worth the long wait in line we had to get them.

Bailey had a pickle, and it wasn't even fried!

While Brittany ate a turkey leg - again, not even fried!

Donna had a nasty looking chili dog

And I had some buttered corn on the cob.

Can you tell how much Rominal is loving this day?

Mark found a relaxing chair - he looks quite comfortable.

The girls road some rides, we looked at a ton of stuff for sale, and we saw lots of cars. We would probably still be at the fair now, except that it started pouring down rain. We got drenched. And drenched doesn't even begin to describe how wet we were when we finally got to our car. It didn't matter, we were laughing the entire way.

I'm hoping that all of the walking we did will off-set the calories consumed. We were at the fair from 10:00am until 5:30 - and we were mostly walking the entire day.
Another successful and fun trip to the fair. I can't wait to go again! Eddie - you should have been there!