Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2 kitchen successes....can I get an applause...

The past three months I have failed miserably in the kitchen.
Going dairy-free has been a relearning of everything that I know in the kitchen. I had to abandon my motto "Butter makes everything better" and find creative replacements for my many go-to meals that involve cheese, milk, butter... I attempted so many new recipes and almost everyone of them flopped. This Vegan Mac and Cheese (which I added otherwise delicious ground buffalo to) was by far the most repulsive, I mean inedible. I discovered that nutritional yeast is ick and tahini is super ick (I went as far as to get a refund from Whole Foods for the tahini). Stephen will eat almost anything (the man hates to waste a napkin) and after "half" a bowl he wouldn't touch the large baking pan of leftovers. Inedible I tell you.

So...having two successes in the kitchen, in the same day, (be them small) calls for a big pat on my back. It's own blog entry even.
In order:

I finally discovered to how to boil the perfect egg (thanks to these simple techniques on Simply Recipes). I'm glad I learned how to boil an egg before I turn 30 (next month).

I whipped up a yummy egg salad with these bad boys (which spanish olives would've perfected). But I must confess, I was wishing that I could've made this recipe the entire time. Oh how I miss fancy cheeses.

My second success was non-mushy banana walnut muffins. Another big one down before the big three oh.

These made a few deposits back into my domestic self-esteem. And I'm lovin that website Simple Recipes.

On an unrelated note I'm drooling over these rugs posted on Copy Cat Chic today. They cost almost as much as my car. A girl can dream....

Have a good rest of the week.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The best traveling buddy...

Being stuck in a car for five plus hours is a breeze with this guy...

We made it home safe and sound from our mini-vacay to Houston and Galveston. It was fun to see different parts of Houston. So many people live there! Constant traffic. It's the 4th largest city in the US. I never knew.

I LOVED staying at the Intercontinential Hotel (which we got for a steal on Hotwire). We watched several episodes of Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, very interesting. And also Piers Morgan, I like him. We ate two days in a row at the Grand Lux Cafe. Ahh. Their menu is unbelievable (a welcomed indulgence for me). The beignets, oh my. We both enjoyed that a lot. We also got to have a long dinner with Stephen's family while we were there, a highlight for us.

We took a day trip to Galveston, drove along the Gulf of Mexico. And can I admit something? I discovered that I am a closet beach snob. Growing up in California did me a total disservice in this area.

Gulf of Mexico....
....Laguna Niguel
Gulf of Mexico....

Although we thought Galveston left much to be desired, we had fun with it all. We decided that "campy" was the best adjective. And we kept wondering where my mother's sources of information come from? She told us on our drive down that she heard Galveston was "such a beautiful city." Mmm.
(I love you Mom.)

Stephen ate two snow cones (yes "two" in one of his favorite indulgences), I breastfed in the car off and on all day (which I'm totally used to at this point), changed a poopy diaper on Stephen's lap, ate at a seafood dive, and waved to the burning ozone from our cool, well air-conditioned car. It was 101 degrees and it smelled like...well...the Gulf of Mexico.

I have to say, it was cute to see families together under their umbrellas and people waiting to start their Duck Tours. Kids don't seem to be phased by blazing temperatures, at least not when stuff's going on all around them.

We drove through the neighborhoods and looked at all of the vacation homes (entire neighborhoods of nothing but vacation homes), called a real estate agent and asked questions. We have a habit of doing this while on vacation I've noticed. We're always curious about property value. And we make a game of it. (And I'm lame at this game.) I guessed the house we called on was priced at 3 million, Stephen guessed was 775k.

And this boy, well. He was just a total trooper. He didn't get many solid naps in, but he made do and never had a huge meltdown (which I'm convinced has nothing to do with parenting, this child just has an angel-like disposition). And his mama thinks he's SO cute! REALLY cute! You might just agree. (And yes, parenthood does weird things to the vocal chords.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Free-style Quilting

I am feeling very inspired today by Anna Maria Horner's post on Hand Embroidery. Specifically, this pillow makes me squirm:

Wishing that I had brought my embroidery circle and fabric along on this trip (as I sit in a quiet hotel room with my sleeping babe). I am a free-style crafter all of the way (meaning I am rarely intentional, but rather impulsive), so the concept of free-style quilting is right up my alley. And something as small as this pillow seems doable to me. (While the thought of making an entire quilt feels like a visit to sewing prison.)
Maybe I'll sneak in a trip to Joann's...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gideon's first swim...

Gideon had his first swim about a month ago. He and I have since traveled to and from California, (recovered from traveling to and from California), celebrated Stephen's first Father's Day (with a Texas Tech license plate frame and a Journey TShirt) and our family of 3 is preparing to go to Galveston to celebrate our 4th year wedding anniversary. So forgive my tardiness, I'm sure you understand...

That's his Mr. Burns impression.