Thoughts and Randomness (and a house update!)

Big news on the housing front! J and I met with the builders for our home yesterday morning, and gave them our updated ideas for the floor plan. We had a multitude of changes to make, mostly reconfiguring the cabinet/storage space (and shop space!)…. because, well, we NEED and WANT it.

I say “need and want”, because as Dad so succinctly puts it, “It’s YOUR home, YOU are paying for it, and it should to be the way YOU need it and want it  – if they can’t accommodate you, find someone that will”.

He’s right, of course (but don’t tell him that….  )

Fortunately, the builder can and will make the changes we requested, and thanks to Pinterest, I had lots of pictures to show them of features that we want to add, especially to the kitchen.  We both agreed that it was a smart move on our part to wait as long as we did in terms of finalizing the plans, as we discovered during our week long vacation together during Thanksgiving break that we definitely require a whole lotta counter and storage space for all of our gadgets and appliances.

So now, we sit back and wait patiently for the next set of plans to arrive. It’s hard to believe that before this year is over, we will be living in our new home on the ranch.

Or, as Mom puts it, “Living out in the swamp…”

She will change her tune when she sees her suite …..

Thoughts and Randomness

Like almost everyone else on the planet, I made a list on January 2…. a short list of goals I aspire to reach in 2015. Strangely enough, all of them are food related.

Go figure.

Anyhoo, aside from figuring out how to keep my dogs from fighting (what’s up with them, seriously?), the first item on my list was sourdough bread. Now, you may remember that I have successfully started my starter (which sounds redundant, if you ask me), and thus made my first attempt at homemade sourdough bread last week.

Ummmm….. it didn’t turn out so well……. like not-edible-didn’t-turn-out-so-well. It wasn’t the taste, it was the texture. I am not deterred, though, and will make a second attempt this week. Wish me luck.

The next item on my list was Overnight Oats in a Jar, which I am ecstatic to report was a huge success! I will be posting it within the next few days and even though I’m the only one that will eat it, I will definitely be making it again.

Another project I’m working on is deciding the best format my recipe collection. I’m torn between continuing my blog versus utilizing and completely switching over to the Paprika app. J and I have been using it quite a bit lately and I’m flummoxed as to which is the better option. My blog was originally set up as a site for all of our favorite recipes, so the posse (and myself) would have easy access to them. However, as technology continues to advance, and I continue to never make the same recipe twice, I’m just not sure which format is best for my raison d’etre.

This indecisiveness is normal for me on any given day, but that’s another story…. check back tomorrow and I’m sure I will have changed my mind once again.

Or not…



Happy New Year 2015!

Today marks the beginning of a brand new year – full of potential, possibilities, dreams, hopes, and absolutely no limits.

And for us, no hangover.

Our NYE was a low key affair, complete with this recipe for fried fish, and this recipe for beignets. We all just hung out, chatted, listened to music and the fireworks going off outside, and polished firearms.

Say what?!!! Well, at least one family member did – who shall remain nameless.

Never a dull moment around here….

Later on, J will make his Maw Maw’s traditional pork roast with sauerkraut, and we will work on the floorplan for the house, making sure that we have enough cabinet space to store all of our gizmos and gadgets. Which roughly translates to, we have figured out that we need a LOT more room.

As Dad so aptly put it, “It’s your house, make it your way”.

Very sage advice indeed.

Happy New Year!

My Top 12 of 2014

Well friends…… we are rapidly approaching the finish line for 2014.

It doesn’t seem possible that we have been in Texas for over 8 months now, it feels like we have been here forever. What’s really fascinating to me though, is that I vaguely remember living in Las Vegas, yet we (the posse and I) lived there for almost 12 years. However, I’m hard pressed to recall and/or remember much of what happened during that time.

Honestly, it’s probably better that way.

2014 was most definitely a year to remember, starting with J and I embarking on our two day road trip to Austin on January 2, and culminating on December 25 with the biggest news of the year:

I’m engaged!!

J presented me with the most beautiful ring on Christmas morning, and now 5 days later, I still can’t believe it. Mom and Dad were quite thrilled with the news, as were the posse. Hard to fathom that not only will 2015 see our home built, but that a wedding will take place as well.

It will be quite a year indeed. 

So as we bid adieu to 2014, here is my Top 12 list of recipes that I will absolutely, positively make again and again. The photos may not be stellar, but one can only hope that my photography improves in 2015.

AugustOreo Cream Cake
DecemberLeek and Greens Pie


Thoughts and Randomness

So here we are, Turkey Day is less than twelve hours away and I haven’t a clue what we are doing for dinner. Let me clarify – I have no idea what we are doing for dinner tonight, much less any idea what we are doing for Thanksgiving dinner.

And I love it.

With the posse away and Mom/Dad vetoing the idea of a Texas-style Thanksgiving, it’s going to be just J and I. It’s kind of funny when you have every possible option open for dinner, you find yourself… stuck and unable to make a decision.

Do you take the traditional route and have turkey, stuffing, gravy? Or, throw caution to the wind and have a smoked barbecue brisket?

It could happen, you know. 

In the interim, our house looks like a war zone. J and I have several fun projects in the works which I hopefully will be able to document for future reference.

Stay tuned……

Thoughts and Randomness

Eight days post birthday, back home in Austin, and I feel like a million bucks.

1.25 million, actually.

Seriously, spending time with my family in Vegas was the BEST, and it’s hard to believe it’s over. We cooked, ate, drank, laughed, ate, drank, shared, reminisced, laughed some more, ate, drank (sense a theme here?) and had an amazing time. Family is everything, and the way all of us come together is always an event. Five Type A personalities, combined with one Type L (L for laid-back) and there was no shortage of conversation, energy, or commotion.

My mother (aka The Queen Mother) loved it. She even played hostess with the mostess for J’s sister, who was in town for a few days. She (J’s sister) came over for dinner Friday night, and quickly came to the conclusion that in this family, you have two choices: either jump into the conversation….. or get left out. Happily, she joined in and had no trouble keeping up with everyone, and even regaled us with stories of J in his younger years, much to his chagrin ;)

And although I said I was going to cook and bake for my birthday, we ended up going out for dinner at T-Bones. The food and ambiance were outstanding, always top-notch. Secretly, between us, it really was nice to have a “night off” from cooking and cleaning up.

But I’ll never admit it out loud.

I think I just did. 

Anyway, Wednesday is October 1 – is anyone else completely stupefied by that fact? The year has simply flown by….. and I’m reminded of what John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”.

And what a beautiful life indeed :)

Some thoughts about a birthday…

So here we are. It’s September 1. And my birthday is in 19 days.

I can’t believe it. Of course, I also can’t believe that one year ago, we were in the midst of embarking on our epic trip to Italy.



Life changing, in so many ways. Today, I was reading a few of my blog posts from last September, and it’s mind boggling to me, really, how much has transpired in just one year. From conversations with my parents two weeks before the trip, the actual trip itself, to meeting J two weeks after the trip, and moving to Austin, Texas, six months after that.


In retrospect, at the time, everything just seemed to happen in a natural progression. As it should have. And aside from missing my parents living 4 miles away, and being able to see them whenever I wanted to (read: every day),  I can honestly say I wouldn’t have done anything differently.

However, let’s not overlook one very important fact here:

Alexander is now taller than Sabrina and I.

Proof to follow…..