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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
I hope it is as good as it looks! I am leaving the arugula out since a certain boy doesn't like it.
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!
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 one week Bee-day. Ha ha!
You will be getting a present when I am up in New York in October!
I love you,
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?
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!
Trying not to wilt from the heat!
One of the best parts of the wedding!
Leaving the reception! I tossed the bouquet when I got to the car instead of stopping the reception to do it and it was so much nicer! I made sure to turn around and aim at one of my best friends!
Our photographer owns her own company called Casa de Camera and she is amazing! Now I cannot wait to see the rest of the pictures from the wedding.
Here is a self portrait of me and PW after the wedding on the way up to our hotel room.
When the wedding was over we were not even close to being ready to end the night. So it just so happened that everyone went to the bar in the hotel that we were staying in. So I convinced RAR to go pick up a dress for me to change in to so that I could go hang out. Here is a picture of me and my friend Kev who is about to marry one of my best friends/room mate from college Jen next June! That's Jen in the bottom left.
After a wonderful night spent with our friends and family we got on a plane to Dallas and then to Maui. After 9 hours of flying we got to Maui!!
Our honeymoon was amazing. If you haven't gone to Maui you must make plans to go there right now. We sat by the beach and ate and had some pina coladas. We snorkeled and did some scuba diving. It was wonderful!
I am sad it is all over. 11 months of planning ends up in one day that ends very quickly. An amazing day, but a very fast day. I just got a slide show from my amazing photographer showing a few of the pictures from the wedding. I got it a little over 24 hours ago and have probably watched it over 24 times! I can't wait for the rest of the pictures to be ready to view.
I just finished a week of inservice and have one more week till the kids get to school. PW just had a full day of orientation for his MBA program. The thing that makes me that happiest right now is that PW is officially a Houstonian! No more Southwest flights back and forth!
Here is an amazing monkey themed gift set. You get a stuffed monkey, a banana rattle, a blanket (or lovie as they call it, how cute is that?), a sign for the nursery that says "Shh Baby Sleeping", and a cute little basket. Now while I would really like to get this for my niece I think I really just might want it for myself!
Once again, this is something that I love, it is the color that would be appropriate for a niece but is it just something that I want for my babies that I will have one day? It's a set of three burp cloths and the middle one is sock monkeys!!! Niece might receive this but don't tell her that!
And here are some monogrammed baby scrubs. I don't know if Dr. Andrew would find these funny/cute or just stupid but I think they are funny/cute. I might save these till she is walking!
And OH MY GOSH! I can't even get over this! It is a crayon apron! Do you know how much I would have loved this when I was little. As soon as she is old enough to color she will get this from me because I love it so much. Though it might be something I keep at my house for when she visits. That way she can always remember that cool crayon apron that she got to wear at Aunt B and Uncle P's house! I remember I had this blue wooden crayon/craft caddy when I was little that I still to this day remember fondly. I think I got it for my 5th birthday!
Here are dad and RHRB at our uncle and aunt's wedding when she was the flower girl! Nice stash dad! How cute is little RHRB?!
I love this picture of me and dad! It is one in a series of pictures of us sitting on the deck of our old house. The caption I always give it is "You make the money dad, and give it to me!" Ha ha!
And here I am with dad and RHRB in Hawaii in 2000. Sorry for the bathing suit picture from when I am in college after gaining the freshman 15 and then the sophomore 5! Note the towel hiding the most important parts! I love this picture though because it was such a fun trip and I love the colors in this picture!
Dad and I have always been twins! It is why we always think the other is so good looking. This is at RHRB and Mr. Andrew's wedding in November 2006! Look how cute we are! See, never fails! I limited myself to uploading only 5 pictures because that is all that I could upload at once and I could have uploaded a ton more!
And here is to the future fathers! Here is to my brother in law, "Mr. Andrew" as our dad would call him, who is going to be a dad in about 2 1/2 months! You are are a fun brother in law who I like to hang out with, and apparently drink whiskey with! You are going to be a great dad! (And I might add that you are actually no longer Mr. Andrew but Dr. Andrew!) Look at how much fun we have!
I am so excited for my dad to walk me down the aisle in 48 DAYS!! We have joked about this day since I was little. We have always joked that I would be elbowing dad the whole way down the aisle because he would be saying something that would be intended to annoy me or make me feel embarassed. WARNING DAD-Do not make me elbow you or I will be blushing and beet red in all of my wedding pictures! I know it will be perfect and maybe we will stage some elbowing pictures just to be silly!
Here is a close up of what the checks look like. I think the bench needs some pillows on it. I went and looked for some today but found nothing . . .
Here is the bench with the swatches of the other fabrics we are using. Thank goodness I am marrying a boy who understands my love of the color blue! I think he was not a fan of the checks at first but I love the checks. The print on the left will be for two wing back chairs that we are inheriting from PW’s mom. The big check is what will be table skirt for a round end table I have. And the cream color fabric will be an arm chair and ottoman and the piping will be in the small check! I can’t wait to see it all put together!
So I was going to do another at home reupholstery job on some dining chairs that I inherited from my grandmother but after my bench job I changed my mind. First off I have always loved chairs that have covers with little skirts. Second the chairs are not straight on all sides and I just didn’t want to waste fabric doing a horrible job. SO we are going to get little chair covers like the ones on the Shabby Chic website (below) that are oh so cute. We are going to get them made in the small check fabric that the bench is in!
Front of skirt:
Back of skirt (ties on with little bows!):
I love Shabby Chic and if I was able to continue living in a space filled with light fabric and painted furniture I would! Trust me, if it were up to me I would be painting that bench an ivory color and destressing it! Unfortunately I have to agree with PW that it might just be a touch too girly for him. However when we have a house big enough to do it I will have my Shabby Chic room!
US Post Office . . . you need to give your employees some intelligent information so that they can help people
Oh, look below, pretty!
So after a thinking hard about our options we discovered the dragonfly stamp below which is just a little more than the actual postage that we need. We went to THREE post offices looking for these stamps. Finally at the downtown post office we were able to talk to an intelligent person who was able to tell us that they haven't been delivered to post offices yet. They tried to tell me at first that "they weren't available till June 10" which I knew was untrue for two reasons. First, the internet says they are available now and have been since May 19. Second, Miss Tiramisu from Weddingbee has already posted pictures of her invitations with the dragonfly stamps on them! I sent some quick messages to Miss Tiramisu and was quickly answered with very helpful information. If you haven't gone to Weddingbee yet, you must go look through it!
So we are using the liberty bell for the RSVP cards and the dragonflies for the invitations. I like the colors of the dragonfly and I like that the liberty bell says "forever" on it which is a good message for a wedding!
So, we got online and ordered our dragonfly stamps yesterday. And this morning I received an email saying that they have shipped. So if all goes well, the invitations should go out on Friday! I would really like to call the lady from the US Post offices's 1-800 number who told me that I couldn't order the dragonfly stamps to let her know that you can in fact order them so that when the next person calls she can give out correct information! Needless to say I have had it with the people who work behind the desk at post offices. They just don't care and if they don't know the real answer they just tell you what they want without checking. Though if you are in Houston and need postal help go to the downtown post office because the employees there were friendly, helpful, and double checked information to get it correct. Very different from the other post office experiences. Oh and the best thing about the down town post office. . . it is mere minutes from Ninfa's on Navigation and so RAR and I got to go get margaritas!
So luckily it is summer time and I can stress out and worry about something as silly as stamps. It makes me feel a little crazy but I want my invitations to look nice all the way down to the most minute details! And I have to say that I've come across MANY brides who have blogged about the same issue so it makes me feel a little bit better!
I am sorry if I have put anyone to sleep with this post! I know RAR will appreciate it since she went through it all with me!