Thursday, July 30, 2009

11 Pounder

To most people, it sounds very strange that I have a smoker- the California girl who grew up eating boca burgers and sushi every weekend-- but i'll tell you what, there is nothing better than brisket and chicken from a smoker! So, my sweet husband indulged my crazy idea and bought me a great electric smoker. Its amazing.

I took the smoker on a test drive with a small, trimmed brisket 2 weekends ago. Unfortunately it was really chewy and ended up in the food processor to become "Chopped Beef". After talking to my Smoke-Master friends, my hypothesis is that the meat needs to have the fat on it (i bought a trimmed brisket- thats like getting a Starbucks Non fat Latte with Whip) and it needs to be wrapped up in foil halfway through the cooking time.
Ben's family is coming in town this weekend and so i thought i'd give the smoker another try... I'll be darned if i let it beat me. So last night, Ben and I went to Sams and looked for "Briskets with the Fat" and naturally, i want the largest, most plump and fatty one there is. I dont want to take any chances this time! So, I chose an 11 pounder... it looks awesome!

Today, I've been looking at recipes to prepare for my big smoker debut. However, one strange thing that i notice is that most recipes call for "4-6 pound briskets". Wow... i'm in trouble. I'm either going to smoke the darn thing for days or serve it Tartare.

Here's the new Smoker ... this is definitely the Before picture. I didnt take an After picture b/c all you would see is Ben's tired jaws from my chewy brisket!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home Makeover- Its DONE!!

We've finally finished the bathroom remodel. Here's a before and after!

Previous Guestroom Bath

New Guest Bath

Old Tub/ Shower
New Shower

Old Powder (Jack) Bathroom

New Powder Bath

Cant wait to have lots of visitors to come and enjoy the new bath!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cabinets and Countertops

This week, our countertops were put in and they cabinets were stained. The marble turned out perfectly with our floors and all the other stuff- i'm so relieved!! I'm not a designer/ nor did i get my mother's decorating genes... so i feel like it turned out well all things considering.

Here are a few pix... hopefully, the project will be done next week.

Guestroom bath side. We extended the countertop to go over the toilet for more space.

The powder room side (Jack). The cabinet fronts and drawers will hopefully be in Monday.

Up close of the "Crema Marfil" color.

Home Stretch, here we come!

Texas Toast!

I bet most of you think Texas Toast is the thick, buttery bread you get at a BBQ restuarant; but Thursday, Ben and I experienced a new kind of Texas Toast... its called, your AC going out in July. After 24 hours of no AC in 100+ degree weather, Ben and I became Texas Toast.

Here's the proof... it was 90 degrees in my house while i waited for the AC guy to come.

Rough Day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend at Meggie's

This weekend, Meggie hosted the girls at her darling place in Shreveport. Jess, Taylor and I made a weekend of it with Meg. Meggie and her hubby of almost 1 year have a beautiful home and were so nice to host us girls for the weekend. Of course we had Shrimp Po’ Boys, Fried Green Tomatoes, drive through daiquiris, lots of girl talk, and a trip to the boats! I had to try my luck at craps for a little while… and low and behold, I was lucky! I won! Not a lot, but enough to go buy something that I don’t need!

We had a ball catching up. For brunch we went a “Southern Living Best Of Restaurant”, Strawns. It’s a diner like atmosphere with open kitchens throughout the restaurant. You can watch the lady on the stove cook your eggs and put that large dollop of butter on top.

Moment of Clarity for Me: You know you’ve become a Southern girl with Southern girlfriends when all four of us are debating whether or not to get a plate of Chicken Fried Steak to split amongst us along with our respective meals!! It was one of those moments where I thought, I truly have arrived as a Southern gal!

Strawns, The most DELICOUS Strawberry Pie! Debated about bringing one home, but thought a pie with 4 inches of whip cream + three hour car drive in black car + 100 degrees outside = a BAD idea! Will just have to visit during winter!

Meggie in her darling Kitchen. Look how cute she has fixed this up.

Drive Through Cajun Daquiris! Pretty Darn Good!

Daquiris at Meggie's house

Late night dinner at Joe's diner after our trip to the boats! Check out that greasy food!

Had a ball hanging with the College girls- just like old times!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Restoration to the Rescue

Today, they put in the cabinet frames and starting to paint the ceiling and walls. We finally chose our "mineral blue" color for the walls. I've looked at a million different paint samples and just couldn't find the right blue/ green. A friend of mine recommeded Restoration Hardware paint colors for the cool, steely, "mineral" blue. She says they just have the colors down- and I couldn't agree more! This is Silver Sage- it was the color inside the store, so it was so easy to decide if i liked it or not. So Restoration Hardware to the Rescue! Here are a few pics... hard to tell with the flash, but its worth a shot.

This is standing in the bathtub room facing the "Jack" side ( the one that opens to the hall)

This is the Jill Bath (guest room side) and new cabinet.

Jack Bathroom cabinet frame

Jack Bathroom- where the "commode" will go

You can kind of see the color better on this wall compared to the white wall.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bathroom Floor Tile

Check out our Floor tile they just put in today! I love it! Things are really coming along. Tomorrow is grout and starting on the cabinets!

July 4th Weekend!

We are so lucky to have two of our best couple friends moving into homes within 2 miles of our house! Its been such a fun weekend celebrating our friends big move in weekends and relaxing for the long weekend!

Saturday we helped Dan and Elizabeth ODonnell paint their beautiful new home in our neighborhood. Dan helped Ben with the infamous flagstone project for our house, so we were glad to return the favor and help the ODonnells paint! We painted 3 rooms- one room took two coats! Thankfully, Liz had some Firefly Sweet Tea to help us keep going! Here's a few pics from our paint job... dont mind the hat or outfit!

Saturday Night we went to the Zolfo's beautiful new home in a neighborhood right down the road from us. We had a great Fourth of July celebration with friends. Ben couldn't resist giving Matt one of his favorite house tools for a housewarming present... the Headlamp! Ben uses it all the time... believe it or not, you never know when you need an LED headlamp!

What Brewer three day weekend would be complete without a little yard work?! Our Favorite nursery in Dallas, Jackson's, has an annual 4th of July sale that you buy one plant, get the next one for 4 cents!! This nursery is known for really beautiful, but expensive plants. So, its a great sale b/c you get 2 for the price of one. We planted 2 hydrangeas that will probably bloom next spring and 2 more "Yewtopias"- one of our favorite plants in our shady bed. Anyway, here's update of my Red caladiums and my hard workin man!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Our New Bathtub Tile!

Here is an update on where we are on the Bathroom Remodel. They have completely finished the bathtub room tile/ window. We put in a glass block window to fix up that big old window space. The other two rooms have the plumbing done and are sheet rocked. Tomorrow they will install the new windows and begin to build the cabinets for both vanities.

Here's some progess as of today

They use pennies to hold the tiles in place before they grout. They said its the smallest grout lines possible- 1/8th of an inch!

Its been really fun to watch this unfold! Our contractors are great and we've been very pleased with their progress.

Will keep updating!