Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Schools out and I'm heading home for a weekend of gluttony and family!  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not only because of the delicious food, but also because it reminds me to stop and be thankful for all the blessings in my life.  Sure things can be difficult around here, but all in all, I'm blessed beyond ways that I deserve.

Chalk writing by moi.

So in between the food, the football, and the family time, remember to count your blessing...and eat them too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Just a little reminder.

Source, maybe.  It's a Tumblr account so who knows.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving!  

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Much Needed Break

My first final is in two weeks from today.  Majorly Slightly panicking about that.  But for some reason I decided that this past weekend was a good time to be lazy.  I'm not sure if it's the short week this week or all of the random activities I had scheduled over the weekend, but I was very unproductive.  I've learned that when your body says you're done.  You're done.  So I tried not to feel too guilty and instead enjoyed a little bit of down time before the gauntlet that is finals.  And I've been getting up at 5:30am to outline for the past week, so that earns me some extra time to sleep and watch excessive amounts of cooking tv, right?  Right.

But the highlight of my weekend was the Margarita Ball on Saturday night.  It's a charity event hosted by the Dallas Margargita Society that involved ball gowns, black ties, dancing, and copious amounts of margaritas.  So I scrubbed off the law school grime, shaved my legs (for once), and tried to act like a normal human being.  Pretty fantastic evening.

And Thanksgiving is this week!  Hope you had a lovely weekend too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

One Month and Counting

Roy Hobbs has been a member of our family for a month!  We've settled into a nice routine, although he and Dolce still bicker, as brothers will do, over toys and treats.  We're very happy we rescued him and are looking forward to many, many more months together.

We love our Roy Hobbs!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cook Something: Fall Feast

The first chilly day of fall arrived in Texas yesterday.  When the weather gets cold I love to crank up the oven and roast something.  There is something soul satisfying about the smell of something baking in the oven, and it's even better when it's duck.  Duck is one of my absolute favorite meats.  There is nothing quite like crispy, salty duck skin.  Duck intimidates most people because they associate it with fancy French cuisine.   However, it's really very easy.

 I can't remember where I found this recipe for roasted duck, but it honestly could not be more simple.  You liberally salt and pepper a whole duck (inside and outside).  Roast on 250 for 3 hours and then on 350 for an additional hour.  

I also roasted an entire onion in a small ramekin the whole time.  The roasting will break down the onion and make it very soft, almost like applesauce.  Jason wasn't so sure about the entire onion thing, but boy-howdy was it delicious.  I served it with a warm lemon vinaigrette.  Delicious.  You can find the full recipe and instructions here.

And the absolute. best. part. about roasting an entire duck is all of the fat that it will render.  Duck fat is the best.  The absolute best.  I could eat 10 lbs of crispy duck fat potatoes.  Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.  So naturally, I roasted some potatoes with this meal also.  I don't have the pictures of them because they were getting good and crispy while I plate the other parts of the meal, but let me tell you they were sublime. 

Back to the never ending mound of school work.  Have a lovely day all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cook Something: Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

It's 6am and I'm at Starbucks outlining.  With the wrong books.  At the wrong Starbucks.
My study partner's at one Starbucks and I'm at a different one.  Why are there 3 Starbucks in a one mile radius?

Finals are here.

Please excuse me while I freak the eff out.

Every semester I feel like I'll never be able to cram all of that information in my head.  And yet some how I always manage to.  Mostly.

Studying is a good excuse to eat copious amounts of sugary carbs right?  Right.

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

This is one of those recipes that looks difficult but in reality is super easy. 

3 cans of biscuits.
3/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of chopped nuts, I use pecans.
1/2 cup melted butter
1 T ground cinnamon

Cut the biscuits into quarters.  Sprinkle half of both sugars in the bottom of a bunt pan.  Pour in half of the melted butter.

Add the remaining sugar and cinnamon to a large gallon sized bag.  Working in batches of 6-8 biscuit quarters, add them to the bag and shake until evenly coated in cinnamon sugar.  Add the coated biscuits to the bunt pan.  Arrange the biscuits in fairly even layers until the pan is mostly filled.  Drizzle with the remaining butter.

Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes until the top is golden.  Allow to cool for around 10 minutes and then flip onto a plate.  The biscuits should be caramelized on the outside and pillowy soft and sweet on the inside.  Eat by simply pulling apart the biscuit quarters.

Hello sugar high.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fifieth Fiesta: The Details

Few things in my life have been as exciting as my mom's 50th Fiesta.  It was a planning and organizational feat, and I'm excited to share some of the details today!
*Warning this is a fairly long and fairly photo intensive post*

All of this stuff had to fit in the truck of my tiny car.  Why the trunk only?  Because there was an 80 lb lab in my backseat and a 10 lb yorkie in the front seat.

The traveling fiesta!

These make me happy all lined up and pretty.

Burning the midnight oil (literally) to get the streamers sewed in time.

Drinks and Sweets Table
Left to right:
Screen Printed Koozies (more on that below)
Galvanized bucket of drinks: Jarritos for the kids and a variety of Mexican beers for the adults.  The bowls in front were for bottles caps and limes.
Margaritas (my favorite recipe) and Sangria
50th Fiesta lemon chiffon cake, made by my fabulous sister!
Behind that are Key Lime cheesecake bites that I made.
The little tiki torch lantern on the table was purchase at some random dollar store for a measly $1 each...hence why I walked out with 8 of them!
Behind the sangria is a bowl of sombrero straws.  Too cute!

A close up of the awesome cake.

The entry stand.  
The top sign read, Welcome to the Fiesta, please grab some festive attire!
The bowls held maracas and beads.
The invitation is on the second shelf.
The sombreros were hung on the top corner and on the third shelf (where the empty space is).
The gifts were below that.
PiƱata stuffed with candy.

We rented three tables and placed them under a canopy of Christmas lights and my sewn streamers.
Those lights would never have been installed or stayed lit without the determination and fearlessness of my brother.  He spent more time on the roof before the party than he did on the ground.

The lanterns are the above mentioned dollar store find.
The tables had paper flowers in spray painted tin cans.
And there were tea candles in mason jars.

The moment of surprise!
...I wish this wasn't so blurry.

brother, me, sister, mom, niece, grandma, aunt

And no party is complete without a seriously goofy photo taking opportunity...

...and a bounce house for the kids!
Also, I'm told my niece looks alot like me.  She feisty like me too.  I so love her.

I didn't get a picture of it, but the food table included a taco bar of carnitas, steak, and chicken tacos; beans and rice; chips and dip; and a trio of homemade salsas.

And finally, the screen printed koozies.  Apparently, the koozie is not as celebrated everywhere as much as it is in Texas.  Weird.  Keeps your drinks cold, keeps your hand warm.  Why doesn't everyone carry them around in their purses?  Because I do. 

So I wanted to give everyone a party favor, but you really can't give a bunch of adults a bag full of candy and cheap toys.  So I came up with the idea to screen print koozies.  I designed the front and Jason came up with the poem on the back.  He's great like that.  My only qualm is that I didn't expose the sombrero correct so it didn't come out perfectly.  I just tell myself it has that faded quality all the cool kids like.

The actual screen printing took about an hour total.  Everyone loved them, and most importantly my mom loved them.  

"We call her Mom. Grandma.  Daughter and More.
On her 50th we'll fiesta like never before!"

 So that's it!  If you have any questions about sourcing or DIY projects, ask away!
Also feel free to check out my Pinterest board for the party!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Make Something: Fiftieth Fiesta Invitation!

My mother's birthday was a couple of weeks ago, on Halloween to be exact.  This birthday was a little extra special because it was her 50th birthday.  Because her birthday is on Halloween she basically hasn't had a birthday party since I was born.  Being the fantastic children that we are, my siblings and I schemed to throw her the most awesome surprise 50th birthday party ever.  My mom isn't one to appreciate "over the hill" jokes, so we decided to throw a Fiftieth Fiesta.  The theme set the tone for a great party, and everything turned out really fantastic.  It was incredibly  a little exhausting getting everything in line and making sure she didn't find out, but the look on her face when she walked through the door was worth every second, stressor, and penny spent.

And in case you're wondering what I've been up to the last couple weeks, it's been this.  I've been crafting like crazy, but haven't been able to post anything for fear that she'd read it and find out.  I'll be posting various things from the party over the next week.  Initially, I planned on posting the full party details first, and then featuring particular things.  Buuuuuut I accidentally formatted my camera card and deleted all 400 pictures from the party.  Somewhat devastating.  I'm trying a couple of things to get them back, but for now I only have about 30 grainy iPhone photos from various phones.

And if any of you are Canon gurus any tips would be greatly appreciated!

50th Fiesta Invitations

What you'll need: 
  • Precut cards and envelopes, whatever size you choose.
  • Bandanas in various colors
  • Scissors and glue
  • Silver Ribbon
  • Computer program and printer


First up, is designing the invitations on a computer program.  You can make a great card without using Photoshop, you just may need to be a little more creative.  To prove this, I designed these invitations using Pages for Mac.  I opted for Pages instead of Word, because Pages has a guideline functions, which makes it easier to work with than Word.  If you only have Word, you can simply change the page size and then eye ball where the text boxes should go.

Here's basically what your card should look like.  The first horizontal line is the middle of the card, and the other lines are margins.  By setting up all of the margins you can make sure your words will be in the proper location on the page.  When you think you're ready, always always print a test page.  I can't tell you how many drafts I go through before I print on the actual cards.  You'll always have little things to tweak, and figuring out how the paper should feed into the printer is always tricky.  

Once you're satisfied with your card design, print them out on your actual cards.  Cut out a bunch of tiny little triangles.  I drew them with a pencil and then cut them out.  It was a little tedious, but don't they look so cute all piled up?

Glue the triangles on a ribbon and allow to dry.  Once dry, drape the flags onto the card until you're happy with the placement.  Glue down and let dry.

There you have it!  A great card for a great party!

And here's a sneak peak of the actual party.  Hopefully I'll have plenty of other ones to show you soon!