Monday, December 21, 2009

My Sorry attempt at a Birthday Cake

So, I had this grand idea to bake the Cover Cake of the December Southern Living for Ben's Birthday. I thought, i can follow a recipe well enough that i can do this with a little bit of extra effort.

I have never been more wrong in my life. I'm working on a Letter to the Editor that includes a requested phrase "Beware of Flying Icing" or "Do not attempt at Home without Professional Supervision" or "Prepare to fail you sorry thing!"

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but I'll replay one scene for you. I have two horrible looking chocolate cake layers, a not so fluffy chocolate ganace layer in between, two batches of horrible white icing that half of it is in my hair, the other half on the floor, i'm trying to cover the ugly crumbly sides of the cake with the icing but it has hardened and wont move.... and then my husband, the birthday boy walk in during the chaos! He had to help me clean the kitchen and get the goop out of my hair before our guests came over. How do you spell Disaster? C-A-K-E!

THis is what its supposed to look like...

Here's some happier moments from his Bday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Turkey, Fishing, Rockband, Golf, Playdates, Christmas China?! We've been busy!

We've been having lots of fun the past few weeks. We went to Palm Springs for our Family Fest Thanksgiving with the Grimsleys. Beatles Rockband, Gingerfizzes, Golf, Shopping, Cooking, and a Jackpot on the nickel slot machine... we covered it all!

Family Fest Beatles Rockband

Dad's Smoker... im very proud. Turkey, Brisket, and Pork Butt all in one week. THe neighbors all stopped by bc they could smell the meat all the way form the street!

Saints are 10-0!!!

We were singing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and Nolan said out loud "Marshmellow Pie?!" It was precious!

Family Fest

Sunrise on Black Friday... Hayley dragged us to Best Buy to look at TVs... yes, she didnt pull the trigger and buy anything, but at least i got this pic!

Kenny and Nolan riding bikes on the Norman Cartpath

He was peddling so hard up the hill daddy had to help! SO CUTE

Nolan catching the ball...almost! I caught the miss in mid air... and he's wearing his Reggie Bush Jersey too!

The Trot that never was... we made Tshirts with cute sayings for the Turkey Trot, but we showed up and the event wasnt until the next day! But at least We looked good!

My Darling "Cousin-Nephew" Hunter... his shirt says "Chick Magnet"!

Nolan and Daddy Fishing! I love the pond's reflection.

Boys going to Golf

My Mom's amazing backyard in the desert

Nolan and Kenny Catch a fish on Hole #7 of the Norman Course

Walker Zolfo came over for a "Playdate" at my house! Too bad there's nothing for him to play with... we'll work on that!

Nolan on the Driving Range... loved the clouse and the green... this is not photoshopped... pretty proud!

My holiday table... im so upset that my Christmas china pattern is discontinued from Williams SOnoma... oh well, i'll just have to get another one!

Some of the presents under the tree.. still shopping!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So what....

So what that my Christmas tree is up by November 17th... with new bows and new garland decor... so what?! To me, once Halloween and my birthday are over, its Christmas. Even Starbucks uses their red cups in the beginning of November.

I'm planning on outside lights this weekend, decorating by spiral trees in front, and finishing all the little cutesy stuff by Saturday. Including... my Christmas China! Ben never understood Christmas China... he would say, so then what do you use the regular china for? It was one of those "you're over-ruled" moments. Regardless, i'm thrilled to get into the Christmas Spirit!

I'll post pics once everything is in place. I still have all the mess that the Christmas boxes bring.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Challenge update

So when I contemplated my recipe challenge, i didnt account for my travel. I've traveled during the week for the past 5 weeks, so i have to give myself a little bit of slack. I dont want to be the girl from the movie, exhausted at midnight making a chocolate cake or coq au van.... not going to happen.

I have managed to squeeze in a few- including this fabulous "The Ultimate Rigatoni" recipe. Its a baked pasta dish that could feed an army. It was delicious and looked so Italian and rustic.

Here's the link on food network- Tyler hits a homer on this one.

Papa- Papa- Razzi!

I never thought I'd be able to relate to a Lady Gaga song... but people are singing the Papa Papa Razzi song to me... well thats because Ben surprised me for my golden birthday with a fabulous Nikon DSLR camera. Its safe to say Im obsessed. I took 1200 pictures in 7 days. Yes, obsessed.

Since I work from home and dont see anyone living until Ben gets home, most of my pictures are of my gardens and plants. But when i get around people, the paparazzi in me cant be controlled.

Here are a few of my fave pics I've taken so far. Unfortunately, halfway through our halloween party, i figured out my focus was on manual... so i got some good ones, but not a lot.
Enjoy... plenty more to come.

Walker Zolfo, the sleeping angel

Beautiful Melissa, the Bride to Be

Proud Papa, i caught Matt in the middle of a belly laugh

My Caladiums nestled in my pittosporums

My fav rosemary... trying out that zoom effect thing

Sweet Potato Vine... going to die when it gets below freezing, but i'll enjoy while i can

My Roses.

Jello Shots in Action...

Darling Walker

Baxter, the firstborn

Im a Bad Blogger

So, according to my lack of posts, you'd think things have been boring for us lately. Quite the contrary, we've been all over the place this past October. We had my parents in town, went on a trip to Galveston with the ODonnells, Had Hayley girl visit Dallas for a weekend, went to Baylor for Homecoming, and had CHuck and Melissa come visit and a Golden Birthday halloween party... yes, we've been all over the place.
I've also been traveling quite a bit during the week. Lately, i've been to Fredericksburg, VA, Sioux Falls, SD, Nashville, Cincinnati, and then I'll be in Milwaukee in a few days. Its really crazy going to all these random places, but its really been fun seeing all different parts of the country. I've seen the most gorgeous trees changing color in the VA/ Nashville area- a girl from San Diego is not used to this stuff.
Here are a few pics from the latest happenings:

Tony Soprano, Oompa Loompa, and Plaxico "I shot myself" Burress

Chuck meets Walker

The Future Rowlans! We're so happy for yall

Blake came to visit Hayley girl in Dallas

Hayley, the Karaoke Diva!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lindsey the Dogsitter

Im dogsitting for Lindsey and Matt Zolfo's dog while they are at the hospital giving birth to their baby boy Walker Matthew. We're just on pins and needles waiting to hear the good news
about the new baby. So Baxter and I sent Mama Linds a little note....
I've been enjoying the little guy. He's just been a great little house guest. He will sit around and watch me work and just lay in his bed. He greated the electrician at my house and didnt have an accident, and we went on a little walk around the house before it started to rain. Its pretty fun having a little buddy around here.
I think Baxter and I are going to catch Oprah on tivo and start making dinner....

Tyler's Ultimate

So far i've made 4 recipes from my cookbook... keeping to my 2 a week. I've made the Ultimate Coleslaw, Ultimate Ratatouille, Ultimate Salmon and smashed potatoes with peas, and the Ultimate Chicken Wings. I'll say so far its 3 for 4 homeruns, 1 out. The Coleslaw, Salmon, and Ratatouille were fabulous. I've posted the Ratatuille recipe bc i had to share it. The wings, were dull and boring... not good at all. Here's a few pics of my successess this past week!

Salt and Pepper Salmon with Smashed Potatoes and Peas- fab

The Ultimate Coleslaw

The Ultimate Ratatouille- i only knew the name bc of the disney movie... had no idea what it was until i read the recipe. Its just a veggie dish that you make in stages- eggplant, zuchinni, onion, tomato and some anchovies for kick!

Here's the recipe scanned.

Mom and Dad in Dallas

I love when mom and dad come visit. We have so much fun! They took another one of their famous Roadtrips... San Diego to Dallas to Austin to Houston in a three week span. I cant believe they drive that long, but am so glad they did it.

We had a ball... i taught mom and dad the art of eating like a texan...we broke out the smoker and made chicken and brisket. It was quite an event, starting with a trip to Bass Pro Shop. They've never been before, as a matter of fact, i've never been except one time prior to taking them. They couldn't believe it... its seriously an event. So we got our chips at Bass pro, fired up the smoker and cooked all day for 9 hours... it was SO good and a hit. I think they've already put one on the wishlist for a christmas present from the girls...

Here are a few pics- Mom and Ben

Me Celebrating a great homeade BBQ dinner and Mat and Lindsey got the wishbone

... we wished for a baby delivery that night, but didnt get it. ha!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall is here.

So instead of the Day after Labor Day putting away all my white and linen, I get down (Ben gets down) all my fall stuff from the attic. I LOVE fall. My house looks so cute this time of year. It means football season, chili on Sundays, fall leaves, my birthday!!, crisp, not cold air, and all sorts of apples are in season. I just Love it.
Here’s my table d├ęcor

Here’s my new entry room buffet/ table. We found it at Weirs on Labor day and got a great deal. Also, we hung our new red/ orange pottery barn curtains in the opening room window. I don’t know why its taken me 2 years to even think about putting up drapes, but they look so pretty and really open the room up