Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Friendsgiving 2

This past weekend Jason and I hosted our 2nd Annual Friendsgiving.  If you remember from last year, we hosted the inaugural Friendsgiving outside, and I had every intention of doing so again this year.  Mother Nature, however, had very different plans.  It was cold in Texas this past weekend, very very cold, especially for Texas.  So Jason and I had no choice but to move Friendsgiving inside.  We are fortunate enough that by clearing every. last. piece of furniture out of our living room and dining room that we had just enough room to fit the 26 people who had RSVP'd for the event.  We were fairly concerned about space, and although it may have been a little snug, it was a perfectly cozy way to spend a very dreary and frigid night.

So without further ado, the details from Friendsgiving 2.

I was adamant about using real plates and silverware this year.  I picked up the plates from the Dollar Tree (for a $1 a piece, which is crazy because I actually like them more than my actual plates) and the silverware was leftover from my sister's graduation party.

Jason rented tables and chairs from our trusty rental place and I decorated each table with strands of bittersweet and white candles.

Each table setting had a mini-pumpkin pie thank you gift that I made (completely from scratch, crust and all, which is kind of big deal because I am certainly no baker).  Friendsgiving is a party that requires you to bring food, so I wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to make and attend the party and to thank all of the great friends we have in our life.  Thanksgiving so often gets overlooked and I particularly love this event, because it's simply a chance to say thank you to everyone who helps enrich our lives.

I downloaded the "thank you" calligraphy from here and sized it down in Photoshop to about 3"x2".

For beverages I made spiked apple cider and unsweet tea.  And everyone brought beer and wine to share.

Jason and I were fairly concerned about squeezing 26 people into our 1200 square foot apartment.  We knew in advance that the tables and chairs would fit, because we did the same thing for my graduation party, but that party maxed out around 20 people and we had a solid 6 more coming to Friendsgiving.

My idea to help work with traffic flow was to create a "photo booth" in this weird area that connects every room in our house, but isn't really a room itself.  It's kind of like a foyer, but smack dab in the middle.  I decided to set my camera up on a tripod and let people take pictures in front of a backdrop of streamers that I saved from my mother's fiesta party.  The lighting wasn't great in that room, and I'm working on fixing the white balance.

I spatchedcocked the turkey again, using Kenji's method.  This is my second year doing this and I firmly maintain it is the easiest, fastest, and most full proof method of cooking a turkey.

Me shaking "Bertha's" wing.  Yes, I named the turkey.

And this is what you get.  A house full of good food and better friends.  A pretty enjoyable way to spend an evening.

And me the next morning...thinking about how much clean up I had to do.
*Thanks to Tiffany and Keith for the awesome mug.*

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!  And a huge thanks to everyone who helped make Friendsgiving a success!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Brunch: Poached Eggs with Corn, Chorizo, Basil, and Brioche Croutons

I am always on the look out for brunch food.  Brunch in Dallas and Texas in general is kind of a big deal, and although most of my friends prefer to while the day away on a patio somewhere (which don't get me wrong is pretty fantastic), I tend to spend my Sundays on my front patio because that requires neither makeup nor shoes.

This brunch recipe from The Food Lab's post on perfect poached eggs is pretty much perfect.  It includes crunchy brioche croutons, crispy Spanish chorizo (and for those of you in Texas, it's different from Mexican chorizo), slightly blackened corn, and a delicious butter sauce.  Add that perfect poached egg and it's one delectable meal.  

Truth be told, it's an involved meal.  And this is coming from someone who barely blinks an eye at involved meals and instinctually distrusts recipes that are overly simple.  That said, it's not difficult, just don't expect to get it on the table lightning fast.

But make sure it gets to your table because it is damn good and so worth the time.

I poach my eggs using my sous vide, which is as easy as dropping the eggs shell and all in the equipment and letting them swim for about an hour.  Then you drain off the thin white part and give them a quick dunk in gently simmering water.  That process is ridiculously easy and your eggs both look and taste spectacularly.

Kenji gives a lot of details on creating the perfect poached egg, both with a sous vide and without so scoot on over there and read it.  Your brunch menus will thank you.

Then whip this baby up at home and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Friday, November 1, 2013


It is officially official.  I passed the Texas Bar Exam!!!!!

 And in two short weeks I will be sworn in as an attorney.  It's been such a long process and I am over the moon excited that I finally made it.  My boss let me leave work after results posted so I spent my first day as a real life attorney hanging out at Klyde Warren Park enjoying champagne and the lovely fall weather.  It was pretty much the perfect day.