This is an experiment with Picasa and blogging.
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Feather Shoes!

Oh J Crew, why do you do this to me? I am in love with these shoes!
The color above is my favorite, probably because of the blue! But I think if I were to get them I would get the black ones because they are more "practical".

At least jcrew.com gives me pretty things to look at!


Sunday Dinner

Tonight I made the Lentil Soup from Martha Stewart's Everday Food cookbook and the Jalapeno, Cheddar Cornbread from Ina Garten. It was such a delicious combination and I am excited about leftovers! RAR was able to join us for dinner, though dad was busy in the OR.

This is a picture of the cornbread batter. It was so thick. I was sure something was wrong with it but it was fine. We couldn't find jalapenos at Central Market so we ended up using Serrano peepers. Those are much hotter so we used less than what Ina said to use. The cornbread is really good and different than the dry, boring cornbread that you usually get.

Here is a picture of the soup in our Apilco lions head bowls that I have been wanting to use! We also used our Spode Delamere plates that I love and they are perfect to use in the Fall!

RAR and I went to Smith and Hawkens yesterday and she bought me this woven tray that I saw and loved last year but never got. It's a blurry picture but I didn't take another. I'm excited about all of the things I can do with it!

The soup was delicious as was the cornbread! I would definitely make both again. RAR had made the cornbread several times and I swear that mine wasn't as good as hers. If I made the soup again I would try making it without the bacon to be on the healthier side. Even though it was in the high 70's and low 80's all day it was a delicious dinner for a Fall night! Thank you Ina and thank you Martha!
I really need to be grading right now but I just can't make myself do it. I had a busy day of running, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry that makes me feel grading would be just a little too much!
Lentil Soup from Martha Stewart

Serves 4

3 strips (3 ounces) bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (3 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a Dutch oven (or other 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid), cook bacon over medium-low heat until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.
Add onion and carrots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 1 minute.
Add lentils, thyme, broth, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook until lentils are tender, 30 to 45 minutes.
Stir in vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve immediately.Note: If you prefer to leave out the bacon, skip step 1, and cook the onions and carrots in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Ina Garten's Jalapeno, Cheddar Cornbread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't over mix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Sad news!

Ok, I haven't had these in years, but I am sad to hear that Mother's Cookies company is going out of business! I love, love, love the circus animal cookies even though they are sickeningly sweet!
I remember a trip to Dallas when I was little where we had a bag of these in the car. I ate way too many and I don't regret it. They are awesome! The English Tea cookies were good too. I'm heading to the store after work to get a bag or two!


Last night's dinner!

The linguine with turkey sausage and peppers was delicious! It was very easy to make and it made enough that PW and I will get several meals out of it! We used spicy Italian sausage from Central Market. (I never want to live without a Central Market within a few miles. I love that place!) We both like spicy things so the red pepper flakes were great.

We used yellow peppers which were delicious. I didn't slice them as thinly as Martha did so it took longer than the 6 minutes it said it would take for the peppers to get soft. And PW was a HUGE fan of the 6 cloves of garlic sliced thinly throughout!

After going to the social security office (I am now officially RRW!) PW and I decided we should reward ourselves for spending an hour there so we went two blocks down the street to the downtown Spec's to get a bottle of Chianti (I don't mind making an excuse to get out the Juliska!) I mean we were cooking Italian food . . .

My camera is not the best for taking pictures with flash so I had to play around and take a bunch. This one came out ok. We ended up using whole wheat linguine and it was delicious, though it looks all one color in this picture! Some arugula would have changed that . . .

I made the full recipe and still can't get over how much a pound of pasta is. We will definitely make it again and we even immediately started to discuss how we could play with the recipe. We both want to try it with yellow AND red peppers next time. I would definitely add the arugula. It was nice and light and I didn't feel stuffed after eating it. It was also fun to get to use our pasta bowls and even though we could have served it out of the pot it was fun to serve it in the tulip bowl we got from Williams Sonoma for our wedding!

PS-I just ate some for dinner and it is delicious the next day!


If I knew someone who needed a nap mat . . .

I'd get them one of these! You can pick from a ton of different fabrics and you can get a name monogrammed on it. Plus it has a built in pillow! So cute! I personally love the sock monkey fabric on this one but there are a ton of other cute fabrics! I know my kindergarteners would have loved one of these when I taught kindergarten!

Too cute for words!

I guess I am biased but I think that my niece is the cutest thing on this planet! I just got back from spending three nights up in NYC with Bee and RHRB and I already miss them so badly! Look at that face!

Dinner tonight . . .

Tonight for dinner I will be making this from the Martha Stewart Everyday Food cookbook!
I hope it is as good as it looks! I am leaving the arugula out since a certain boy doesn't like it.

Linguine with Turkey Sausage and Peppers

Serves 6
1 pound linguine
1 pound turkey sausage, casings removed
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 yellow (or red) bell peppers, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons arugula, torn
Coarse salt and ground pepper, for seasoning

Cook linguine. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta water; return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, cook sausage and 2 tablespoons water in a large covered nonstick skillet over medium until fat renders, 5 minutes. Uncover; raise heat to medium-high. Brown sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, 7 minutes.
Add garlic, bell peppers, and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water; cook until peppers soften, 6 minutes. Add 3/4 cup pasta water and butter; swirl to combine.
Transfer to pot. Add arugula; season with salt and pepper. Toss; add more pasta water as desired. Serve.

I legally changed my name at the DPS yesterday and today I head to the Social Security office to change it on my social security card! The DPS went very smoothly yesterday and I'm crossing my fingers that the SS office will go the same! Then I get to change my name on everything else. I wish it was an easier process, but it's worth it!


Ahh, she is just so cute!

Bee is not happy that her Aunt B and Uncle P are stuck in Houston waiting for Ike to come!
Oh I hope the power doesn't go out . . .

Ike . . .

We are getting ready for Ike to come! School was canceled today so lat night we had a little hurricane party with some friends. It's amazing that people aren't freaking out the way they did when Rita came. The roads are actually clear and they were able to refill all of the gas stations over night.
This is what it looks like in Galveston right now! I can't believe that people are even still on the island.
RAR and dad are up in New York visiting RHRB and little baby Bee. They were supposed to come home today but they can't so now PW and I are going to have to face the storm without them. We are about to lock up and head over to their house to face the storm there. Luckily we have some ingredients for queso and a full supply of wine to get us through the night! Cross your fingers we don't blow away!
Our family friend was supposed to be getting married tomorrow and had to cancel her wedding. I feel so bad and know she must be heartbroken! Thanks Ike!


Happy Week Old Birthday Baby Bee!

Dear Bee,
Happy one week Bee-day. Ha ha!
You will be getting a present when I am up in New York in October!

And the best part (or maybe the dorkiest part) is that your Aunt B has a sweater that matches so we will be twins! After I bought mine and saw on the Old Navy website that they had a tiny one in your size I knew I had to buy it! You also have another present coming that I saw while I was there and had to buy it, but I couldn't find it in your size so you will have to wait till next summer!
I love you,
Aunt B


Fact or opinion

Yesterday was a big day! RHRB had her baby!!! I am so excited to be an aunt though it is killing me that I don't get to see her for a whole month! I hope she doesn't grow up too much!

So yesterday during our morning meeting I posed a probability question to my class. "Will Mrs. W become an aunt today?" 18 kids said yes and 3 (all boys) said no. Later that day we discussed fact and opinion at length. This age is an age where opinion really feels like fact to them!

This morning they were all excited to hear if I was an aunt or not. I let them know by showing them a picture of the baby up on my white board. Of course they all thought she was adorable! So I decided to tie it into our discussion of fact or opinion. I asked them "Fact or opinion, Mrs. W's niece is the cutest baby in the world?" Everyone yelled "opinion" except for one little girl (who is one of the sweetest little girls on the planet, fact) who said "fact" and gave me a smile to let me know she was just siding with me! She gets an A for the day!

These poor kids who have to deal with me getting married and becoming an aunt all within a month of each other!

Hmm, I wonder if my new niece needs a dress with a monkey on it?


Le Cruset, I love you!

This weekend I picked up this little beauty a long with a few other items left on our registry at Williams Sonoma using some gift cards! Plus WS gives you 10% off all purchases for 6 months after your wedding so I got it for less! I can't wait to use it!
I survived the first day of school and I have a wonderful new class! Lots of free spirits! Tomorrow is my b-day (as well as Mother Theresa's, coincidence, I think not) and today is my father in law's birthday (as well as McCauley Culken) . I get to go spend the afternoon renewing my drivers licence, yuck!


monkey butler service

God bless the internet. Please click through.

Could this be a useful tool for managing husbands? RRW, please experiment with the PW and get back to me. I'm afraid mine may be too recalcitrant.