Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Green Chile Cookoff and Draft Central

Saturday Wink and Erin Challenged me to a Green Hatch Chile Cookoff... come up with your best recipe using the chiles. Of course, i was up to the challenge. So the ODonnells came over to help be unbiased taste-testers and we were set for a party.

The Hungry Crew

Me and Mrs Liz

Bring it On Wink!

The Dual: The Watkins Green Chile Polenta with Shrimp and red sauce Vs. My Roasted Chile and Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas
The Spread... Dan was a happy man

Seriously, they were both Fabulous... but the clear winner was Wink and Erin's Polenta and Shrimp... I think he cheated b/c he used Bacon!! So, i humbly gave Wink the win for this round, but we're already scheming up the next round.... maybe Chili? maybe BBQ?

We also had the St. Philip Fantasy Football Draft this weekend... its a big deal this year b/c i won last year and had a trophy made. I really like the trophy and i want to keep it in the house... only way to do that is to win!

My team highlights: Carson Palmer (I'm banking on this being his year), Felix Jones- my Cowboy homer pic, and Steven Jackson. I wanted Romo so bad... but mom beat me to the punch.
Draft Central- Ben's team highlights: Tom Brady... he said "He cant get hurt again", Steve Slaton- Texans homer pic, and Chad Ochocinco... we're hoping for some more Riverdancing this year!

Starting off the year right...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Restaurant Week in Dallas

Ok, So i just have to document my meal last night.

In Dallas, lots of restaurants participate in "Restaurant Week" where they come up with fixed menus for "affordable prices" to gain exposure, hype, etc. Its a great chance for "normal" people to try out really nice restuarants without having to take out a loan. ha!

So, we went to Bijioux, a French 5 Star restuarant on our side of town. http://www.bijouxrestaurant.com/

Wink and Erin, our foodie friends picked out this place... and oh what a great choice they made! Here's what Ben and I had between both our 4 course meals

Crispy Pork Belly- ridiculously good... i wonder why?!
Vichyssoise- French soup that was smooth as velvet
Braised Short Ribs with truffled mashed potatoes
Scallops that were so yummy
Pork Tenderloin with a corn succotash and some kind of delicious sauce
And... Blue Cheese wrapped in puff pastry for dessert... Oh my fave!!

What a treat! Now i need to get to the gym before i look like a Pork Belly!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Riverwalk, Rudy's and Are you Ready for some football?!

Ben and I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary in San Antonio. Ben's company owns the Westin Riverwalk in SA and so we were able to score the corner suite for 2 nights! We went to the pool, walked the Riverwalk and ate some really delicious food-Two Highlights: Rosario's for Mexican food (the best fish taco i've had... i know i sound crazy, Tex Mex Fish Taco?! Seriously, it could beat any SoCal fish taco anyday) and Boudro's on the Riverwalk. Bourdro's is Louisiana Tex Mex fusion... So good. I had "Big tail, Small tail" it was Lobster, crawfish, and shrimp on top of risotto with the amazing sauce that tasted like creamy gumbo. Sounds ridiculous, it was ridiculously good.

On the way home, we figured out the 35 N is not the place you want to be on a Sunday. So we made the best of it. We had Starbucks in New Braunfels, Shopped in San Marcos, and ate Lunch at Rudy's in Round Rock... (we got so hungry we couldn't make it to Waco. )
But we finally made it to Waco and had a lot of fun sneaking into building that we weren't supposed to be in. Ben says "We'll just go in until we get kicked out". Great influence, right mom?!

First stop, the BU Athletic Center- This is the office facility and meeting rooms for all the sports. It looks great- also of note, lots of tutoring rooms and academic advisors. Ben was pleased to see that Baylor is finally trying to compete in the football recruiting game... you gotta please those mamas and the numerous "academic advisors" are the way to start!

Then we went into the indoor practice facility-- this is really cool. The turf is like the coolest grass astro-turf hybrid stuff i think anyone has seen. All I can say, is these Bears better be good with this "better than pro-team" grade facilities. I'm ready for a Bowl Game!!
Check him out, he's ready for the season!
Yall- Rothers and Pics n Gifts are GONE! They have totally demolished both buildings and just put in grass... sad about the Pics n Gifts guy! Here's the proof...
No stop is Waco is complete without a Mochachino from Common Grounds... it seriously tastes exactly the same. Good way to finish off the trip up I-35.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Julie and Julia. Inspired.

So i haven't blogged in a few days... I know you missed me! ha.

Well, this weekend was low key, and much needed low key. We had a great evening at our friends the Watkins house for gourmet burgers and homeade cobbler... yum! Then Saturday, Ben took me to see "Julie and Julia" and I was in heaven... watching a movie ALL about food and the love of food. Needless to say, I was starving afterwards.

About the movie- I absolutely loved it. Meryll Streep makes a loving, charming, and endearing Julia Child. Amy Adams is loveable and even though her character has really bad hair, i still thought she was darling. The story makes you want to be the both of them and live their separate lives. Ben even "enjoyed it for a chick flick". He's the best.

About the Inspiration- So the feeling I had leaving the movie was, "I can do that too"! Now, for those who have heard about the movie, Julie Powell cooks all 524 recipes of Julia Child's in 1 year. Now, if i did this, i'd gain 50 pounds and have absolutely no social life. Not my idea of inspiration. So, i am planning on cooking my way through a cookbook (hold that thought) and cook 2 recipes per week. However long it takes me, i think its a realistic parameter and a great set up for an adventure in cooking. I dont have time/ real reason to go to culinary school, but i think of this as new way to cook / learn things i'd never learn otherwise.

Back the the cookbook thought- I'm working on it. I'm tetering between Ina Garten's "Back to Basics" and Tyler Florence's "Tyler's Ultimate". These are the first two that came to my mind b/c i adore these chefs cuisine and style on Food Network. I'm still deciding and entertaining new ideas. I want to find a cookbook that i am excited about the food and also feel that i'll want to replicate for years to come. I also dont want to pigeon hole myself into one cuisine that i end up tired of by the end of the year. And and all recommendations are welcomed! I am giving myself until Labor day to decide. So, stay tuned.

I will post notable moments about my "Adventures in Cooking" on this blog. So pay attention as you please. And for those of you who live in Dallas, expect an invitation to dinner at the Brewer's to help us eat all this food i'm going to conquer.
So, here's to an exciting start. Look forward to telling myself to Bon Appetit!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wii had a ball!

Here are some pics from the Brewer's and Elkins visit to Dallas. We had a great time.

The little boys love their Uncle Ben

The Cutest thing was to see the little guys play with Uncle Ben's Wii. They played Bowling all night and just thought it was the coolest thing. Check out Nathan and Conner in action.

Kath and Dave brought a kiddie pool we put in the backyard for them. They loved the pool and Dave didnt mind cooling off a bit from the August heat!

So the verdict is in... I made a tender, delicious brisket this weekend! The 11 pounder "with the fat" was a success. What did Emeril used to say, "Pork fat rules".... well in my case, "With the Fat Works"! The fam loved it and I'm thinking considering a few nicknames for my smoker skills... Mrs. Pitboss, Lindsey's Smokehouse, or the Queen of Mesquite... has not been determined yet, any suggestions are welcome.

Me and my new best friend

My Chickens- they were so good

Part of the 11 pounder

We took a family trip to the Dallas Arboretum. Ben and i had never been and for as much yardwork as we've done in our lifetimes so far, its a shame we've never gone here. We loved it and i cant wait to go during the fall.

The Elkins family... the boys loved running around the Arboretum. Just what the doctor ordered to wear them out before their naps.