“I think the most significant work we ever do, in the whole world, in our whole life, is done within the four walls of our own home.” – Stephen R. Covey

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Baking!

Short house re-cap and I'll move on to the cookies...

We've been crazy busy lately getting things done with the house and I'm now proud to list the things we've gotten done:

-Trees trimmed and limbs hauled off
-Master Bedroom walls and trim painted
-Master Bathroom walls, cabinets and trim painted
-Hallway door frames and trim painted
-Guest bathroom cabinets and trim painted
-New desk bought and constructed
-All doors painted and installed new knobs
-Basement trim and chair rail painted
-Basement walls painted

Short list of things to be done:
-Guest bathroom painted
-Guest bathroom re-tiled
-Basement bathroom repainted
-Crownmolding in master bedroom and basement

Moving on to today, it was a wonderful Sunday to stay in and relax!

I cleaned yesterday and we are taking a break from house chores until after Christmas so I made cookies:

Here are the recipes!

Chocolate Spice Cookies (recipe: Perfect Light Desserts by. Malgieri and Joachim)

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/3 c dutch process cocoa powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
4 T unsalted butter
1 c sugar
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c molasses
2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or foil

1. Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and set aside
3. In another mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a large rubber spatula. Beat in the applesauce and molasses.
4. Stir in the dry ingredients to make a soft dough
5. Drop a tablespoon of the dough on prepared pans
6. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, changing the position of the pans about halfway through baking. Exchange the top pan and the bottom and also turn them back to front at the same time. The cookies will still be fairly moist when they are done. Avoid overbaking them or they will be dry and hard.
7. Slide the papers from the pans to racks to cool the cookies.

Cream Cheese Icebox Cookies (recipe: Joy of Cooking)

Whisk together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Beat in a large bowl until fluffy:
11 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
Beat in:
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

Stir in the flour mixture until blended. Refrigerate until slightly firm. Roll dough into balls in your hand and then flatten slightly with a jar. Before baking sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or whatever decorative baking thing you have on hand. Bake one sheet at a time for 11 minutes. Let cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Wonderland!

A few pics from our house this morning! Brrr it was COLD!

A conversation from this morning:
E: It's sooo cold! If we were still in Texas I would still have my pjs on and be working from home today!
C: Babe, we're not in Texas anymore...
E: Sigh, I know.

Front yard, 7:30a

Back yard, 7:30a

Back yard, 6:00p

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chocolate Cake

Now I will tell you, this Chocolate Cake is mediocre in my opinion. It is not spectacular or rich or divine. However, it is quick, dirty and CHOCOLATE. I think my favorite part about this cake is that it makes a single serving, two if you decide to share. I think the scary thing is that I know exactly how much oil and sugar I am consuming and somehow with a normal cake, I pretend like I can't divide and figure out how much bad stuff I am eating. Funny how that works! Anyway, this "Cake in a Cup" is a fabulous idea when I just need a little chocolate/dessert fix but don't have anything really sweet in the house. We never buy cookies or sweets just because I figure that if I can't see them, I won't miss them. Anyway, when you make this recipe... do a little dusting of powdered sugar and cinnamon and it will just be delicious! I contemplated adding a little cinnamon and/or vanilla to the recipe, but never did. I guess that gives me a reason to make it again tomorrow night! Mmmm, it would also be good with whipped cream and cinnamon on top! OHHH... and FRUIT! The possibilities are endless!

Here is the link to the recipe.

Bread and Cup

So today I am eating lunch in the break room… perusing the Living section of the Omaha World Herald with my Crispy Duck Salad from Upstream. In case your curious, the salad is better at the restaurant than delivered to the office. Its something with the temperature that just bothers me… Anyway, the front page of the Living section has the large beautiful image of a crostini with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. The ideal image for a southern girl in the Midwest whose weather is getting much too cool much too fast. Tomatoes just say summer in a way that even peach pie and ice cream can’t. Anyway, I start reading this article about a trendy place in Lincoln called Bread and Cup. Now let me honest and tell you that when I moved from Dallas, I was afraid I would have to give up cute trendy places for jumbo steakhouses and your boring collection of mediocre chains. My first indication should have been the fact that even Tulsa had great places like Sonoma Bistro and Wine Bar and the Local Pantry. So….back to Bread and Cup: First of all, you have to read the article because I seriously fell in love and my mouth started watering. I am a website/blog addict (I know, really?) The first thing that piqued my interest were the recipes in various blog entries. I don’t know why more restaurants don’t do this! Seriously, having a recipe (or 6) is not going to stop me from trying or coming back to your restaurant. Why do you think atmosphere and service are SO important (and I don’t have to do the dishes)! The photography on the website is beautiful although I would like a few pictures of the dining room to know what I am getting into before I drive down to Lincoln. The fact that the website is updated so often with the newest offerings also tells me that they are at the top of the their game! The food and drink is mostly local which is a great feature that I wish more places offered. It ALWAYS tastes better than something flash frozen, shipped in and sitting under the warmer.
Anyway, I CAN’T wait to try this place and I load a review when I can!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Updates!

So, the good news is that I should now have more time to update this blog... and that would be because Chad and I are no longer house hunting because... WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE! I know, we are super excited! The radon test was on Saturday and although the levels were high, the problem will be mitigated which is pretty standard. The home inspection was today and it went really well. Luckily the only things wrong were totally small and fixable, YAY!

Plans for the next few months:
5 Trips to Sherwin-Williams
12 Trips to Home Depot
7 Trips to Lowes
4 Trips to Nebraska Furniture Mart
1 Trip to IKEA?
300 Trips back and forth from apartment to new house, moving!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's becoming Fall in Omaha...

...and I am SO not ready! The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are getting yellower, and I am getting worried. I am not crazy about the cold, but I can usually get through it provided I have enough warm cozy sweaters and hot chocolate laced with kahlua. HOWEVER, that would be a Texas winter, not a Nebraska winter... about a 30 degree difference there. I am really going to try to stay positive and deal with the cold and the snow!

The nip in the air is kind of exciting when you start thinking of fires in the fireplace, big snuggly coats and pumpkin pie!

So what have we been up to? Well lets see: 4th of July in St. Louis, a business trip to Dallas, Chad's Birthday, a business trip for Chad, a trip to Lubbock, planning a trip to Denver this October and LOTS of house hunting!

We thought we were close to getting a house TWICE... but the first time we found a huge foundational crack. We actually put a bid in on the second house but we had to walk away because of an over inflated house. We have found a couple more since then so we will see how those play out!

I have actually been clued in to some great blogs through work this week so I hope to share those soon. I was searching the federatedmedia.net website looking for blogs for one of my clients to advertise on and found more of my own to start reading! Not that I need any more reading to do... from the Twilight Series, to all the Janet Evanovich books, Suze Ormans Women and Money, Marketing to Women and Good to Great... I've been pretty swampted with reading!

Have a great week everyone

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Peaceful Modern

Peaceful Modern: that is the label I would give the luxurious, relaxing, friendly scene at the Hotel Palomar-Dallas.

I don't get to stay in hotels in Dallas that often because (1.) I used to live here and, (2.)most of my family lives here. However, this time I am here for a work seminar and happen to be staying in the hotel in which the seminar is being hosted.

Simply said, I would label this hotel as a "destination stay". Some women fantisize about running off with the pool boy (ala Desperate Housewivse)... me, I just want to run away TO Hotel Palomar. It is such a shame that I had to stay by myself and my husband couldn't come along to enjoy this relaxing atmosphere. It's just so beautiful, so hospitable, so many things to do, eat, drink and watch nearby!

Just north of the hotel is the area named Mockingbird Station. A cute area chock-full of eclectic shops, ordinary retail, local restaurant favorites and a indie movie theater... your weekend can be full with this entertainment a skip across the street.

I mean seriously... look at this lobby! It won't let me post pictures, but the link leads you to pictures of the hotel!

To give you an idea of my experience... I arrived Tuesday night at almost 11:00p after a long day of work, and air travel since 5:50p that afternoon. The taxi pulled into the valet lane and a bellboy came the back of the van, pulled out my luggage and opened my door as I paid the driver. He then wheeled my things in as two other bellboys opened the massive glass doors into the building... talk about style! I was then checked in my friendly and curteous staff and made my way up to my room. I opened the door and it felt like I had walked into a relaxing, peaceful place of escape. All the lights are out except for the bathroom light is dimmed. As soon as I glance in there, I see the designer artisan sink and fixtures that just fill me with design inspired happiness. A little further walk in,I find a down comforter covered king size bed ready to be collapsed on. The BEST part is the large flat panel screen TV with relaxing spa music and one of those puddle screen saver things going on. Seriously I could have collapesed then and there and let myself decompress for the rest of the night. Anyway, needless to say the armchair was of modern design AND comfortable (which is sometimes hard to find) and the desk was also nice with lots of electric plug-ins! I stayed 3 nights, all of which were wonderful as are the yummy L'Occitane bath products and a cute zebra print robe! Oh, and I shouldn't forget to mention the coffee and hot tea in the lobby for breakfast and complimentary wine from 5p-6p!

Anyway, I just had to share this experience because (1.) I haven't posted in a while and (2.) it was just so dang wonderful!

I should disclose that in NO WAY was this a paid advertisement, however I am NOT OPPOSED to receiving free nights, samples, trial offers and reviewing them online!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Superior Wife

Just in case you were ever curious...


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Don't be scared...

Don't be scared, I havent been swept away in the recent tornados here in Omaha... I've just been busy, really busy... you know, like car shopping, house shopping, browsing this new city, just enjoying life in general...

Don't fear though, hopefully I'll be back soon with a spectacular tale, or a delicious recipe, or a fabulous tip... but for now I am enjoying the summer!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hah, finally made it!

So I read a lot of blogs and comment on a few of them. Many of them are so huge that they get hundreds if not THOUSANDS of comments which is great BUT has disadvantages. Sometimes people (whom we call trolls) decide that they have nothing better to do in life than get their panties in a wad and post hurtful negative comments about a writers blog of the day or even comment on their way of life in general. My opinion is: if you don't like it, click the "X" in the upper corner...thats what it was designed for.

So, I guess you could say I finally made it into that category of bloggers who get negative remarks! I posted a lighthearted comment on another (GINORMOUSLY followed) blog regarding which topic I thought the writer should get back to writing about. Another commenter apparently thought that was RUDE of me, clicked on my blog link and wrote her opinion (anonymously with no return email, of course) below one of my most recent (non related) posts. Needless to say, it got deleted... I don't have the time to deal with that kind of negativity or troll-ish-ness!

Anyway, enough of that and HAPPY FRIDAY. The hubs and I are going out for dinner tonight and I am MORE than excited!

Monday, May 5, 2008

best thing EVER!

do you like rootbeer floats? ya know, rootbeer with ice cream spooned on top that makes those delicious creamy bubbles at the top that take on a new consistency you never knew existed before...Mmmm! For me rootbeer floats were made famous by A&W but were especially made great while sitting around a camp fire roasting hotdogs (also consumed, Dr. Pepper floats). Well, while at the local Hy-Vee (grocery store chain up here) I spotted this strange looking BLUE milk in a glass jar, and then pink, yellow, peach, white and brown milk! What could this stuff BE!? Turns out it is flavored milk, I know what an idea! I don't remember what all the flavors are but the brown milk is NOT chocolate, its ROOTBEER flavored! Delicious! I think the other flavors are regular (white milk), peach, cookies and cream and cotton candy flavored!

Check out their website, seems like a wonderful small family owned business that would be wonderful to support!

Notes on Nebraska...

Random thing I saw today... Nebraskans seem to really like their custom license plates. I have never seen so many! Wierd one today -- X BANKR -- is it just me or that kind of boring to be broadcasting?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


We live in Omaha...holy crap we live in Omaha (FINALLY!)!

-dining guide to Tulsa part 3 coming soon(hopefully).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

getting green without getting out of control

Check it...a great post about getting real about being green.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's your footprint size?

Mine is a 10 depending on the shoe but thats not footprint I'm talking about.

The National Geographic Channel is having a special on the Human Footprint and the amount each person consumes in their lifetime.

Preview: A human will consume 4,476 loaves of bread in their lifetime

Check out the website for more info.


Woo Hoo!! Our time here in Oklahoma is coming to an end! We are driving up to Omaha Thursday afternoon and meeting the movers on Friday. The other good news is that I hope to have an interview on Friday with an ad agency in town. Hopefully that turns out good! I am so in love with the church that we found near our apartment in Omaha so hopefully we'll go to Mass Saturday evening or Sunday morning before we drive back.

Later this month we'll be going to Bartlesville which is north of Tulsa to see Shooter Jennings, Charlie Daniels and .38 Special. Although Chad is way more excited about it than me, it should be a great show! After that we'll head down to Germanfest which will be a great weekend of friends, beer (yay?), and good food. After that we'll leave the metroplex and head to Omaha!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dining Guide of Tulsa: Part 2

Mahogany's Prime Steakhouse

Mahoganys was great! Seriously the best steak I have ever had (except yours Dad, of course). Apparently the secret is searing them at 1000F and only seasoning with salt and pepper. See Dad, we didnt have a 1000F degree grill so it's not your fault. I never really understood the saying that a good steak didnt need BBQ sauce until now. I could only handle a 6oz size at the time but that 6oz was great! We got it "Oscar Style" which means that it has crab meat and asparagus on top. I don't even like mashed potatoes (I know, but I am still southern dangit!)but with the yummy sharp cheddar on top, they were great!!

Sonoma Bistro and Wine Bar

Uh, PERFECT! I had been CRAVING a less filling and more healthy meal and this fit the bill perfectly! First of all the wine and beer selection was AMAZING! Second of all, we sat outside on a perfectly warm relaxing spring Sunday evening. Not least of all the food was delicious. We started out with a cheese plate that had an olive cheese, bacon cheese, and a brie. It was served with dates and french bread slices. For dinner I had a great asian flank steak, I highly recommend it!

Shoguns Japanese Steakhouse

Your traditional Japanese Steakhouse which was great. A little stringent on their reservation procedure. The showmanship of the chef (probably not the right term) was good even if he did screw up the egg-bouncy-trick 3 times... It was a great value and a fun place to go with a crowd

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dining Guide of Tulsa: Part 1

Welcome to the dining guide of Tulsa (and surrounding communities)!

Through our stay here we have been to several restaurants and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to review them:

McGills Steakhouse

Located inside the Cherokee Casino and Hotel this restaurant is by far the nicest within the casino. Although it is pricy the food is really good as long as you don't mind the traditional heavy steakhouse meal. The first time I went there I ordered the tilapia. It was good but I would suggest ordering it a little medium to keep it moist. The french onion soup was also amazing, one of the best I've had. The next time we went I had the lobster with drawn butter which was also great. Not great for the waistline but I'm almost sure I had a salad with it...does that count? Since the lobster was so great I have also ordered the pasta with lobster sauce which had much more lobster in it than I expected!

LoneStar Steakhouse

Located in Owasso this restuarant was good but didn't really compare to the steakhouses we have in Texas (ironically enough). The margaritas were good which was what that evening needed! I got the El Paso salad with steak which was great but beware of the house dressing, super spicy!

Full Moon Cafe

This restaurant is in Tulsa and usually features dueling pianos on the weekend. We went there on a Sunday and instead had two guys with guitars, banjos and such. It was still and entertaining evening. One thing we ordered was fried calimari but unfortunately it was pretty pre-fab... I had the full moon coconut shrimp which were delicious!

Let me know if you have been to any great places in the area!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Quick and Dirty, Divine

I found a few new sites that are great:

The first one is Money Girl which is a podcast about personal finance and great tips for managing your wealth (or lack their of).
- Good Debt vs. Bad Debt
- Greatness of Compound Interest

On the same site is the Get-It-Done Guy to, as he says, "to work less and do more". Sounds great in my book!
- To Do or not To Do
- Controlling a full inbox

The next site is titled Divine Caroline. I can't put it into words so I'll let the Divine Caroline staff do it.

In short " Our dream is to give you a place to come together and express yourselves. What brings you joy. What breaks your heart. Makes you giggle. What pisses you off. Confuses you. Entertains you. What keeps you strong. And if all that sounds too heady, remember we're also discussing stuff like sketchy relatives and good kissers."

My favorite sections are:
- Relationships
- Home and Food
- Style
- Career and Money
- Play
- Neighborhood and World

... I guess by now you've realized that I pretty much like the entire site but I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Fabric = New Project

I found this beautiful fabric yesterday that SO reminds me of the Vera Bradly designs.

The first one is a pink paisley with lots of great colors that remind me spring!

The second is really hard to see on this screen but its a ivory with tan words in script like harmony, family, unity and peace. I'm thinking I want it to be the lining of whatever I make.

(you can see it easier if you tilt the laptop screen way back...)

Right now my plan is for a makeup bag or travel jewelry bag...something easy and simple. Please let me know if you have any ideas!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Easter, Lubbock or Leave It

It's been a while since I posted but between Easter weekend and flying to Lubbock for a few days there wasn't much opportunity to post!

Sooo... Easter weekend wasn't all that relaxing and consisted of a lot of driving. Thursday morning we drove down from Owasso/Tulsa to Euless to get our things ready for the movers. That evening we went to dinner with our friends Brian & Ashley and Joe & Mandi and their baby Shelby. By the time we got home we were exhausted and really weren't up for any more prep work that night.

The movers came the next morning and the second they stepped inside our apartment they looked pretty overwhelmed. Apparently we had about twice the amount of stuff they were expecting. I have no idea why because they knew all the furniture we have and obviously the cabinets were going to be full of things as well. Oh well they got it and all the stuff from the garage on the truck by mid afternoon and drove away. That was a little scary watching basically all of your worldly belongings drive away and pray that they get to Omaha safely and on time. Needless to say we didn't let them pack our important documents and things that we really didn't want to get broken. The cleaning of the apartment was a little difficult afterwards considering they moved all of our cleaning supplies and we didnt think to set them aside before hand!

Friday evening we drove to Muenster to Chad's parents house. Saturday we had lunch with the immediate family and dinner with most of the aunts,uncles and cousins of the extended family. Coming from a relatively small family it's nice to be around all that family at one time! They were so nice and gave us some Texas decorations to have once we get to Omaha. (The latest plan is that we will still be in Oklahoma until the end of April and then go to Omaha. I have a feeling this is God's way of making us grateful for the day we finally get there!) Then Sunday we went to Easter Mass and had lunch at my Grandma's.

Chad left Monday morning for Oklahoma and I spent the day with my mom hanging out and running errands. Tuesday I flew to Lubbock to spend time with my friend Stacie.

It was so great going to visit Lubbock and really enjoy the place without having to worry about school or homework! It was a beautiful week and Stacie and I did a lot of great shopping and eating. If you go to visit here is what I suggest you do:

South Plains Mall
T.C. Elli's
Uncommon Graphics
Kingsgate Center

Daybreak Coffee
Angela's Cafe
Home Cafe
Thai Pepper

All in all it was a great time and now I am back in Oklahoma and trying to find things to do for April!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Banning Water?

Sounds strange right, water is essential to living... no way a city could ban something like water. Well the city of Seattle is no longer going to buy bottled water to be provided at city events. Turns out Seattle isn't the only city lately that has created restrictions.

Read the whole story here:

Monday, March 17, 2008


What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
North Central
The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Interesting considering I've lived in Dallas my whole life!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Answer to your deepest question:

What is happiness you ask? This morning happiness is 1)sitting in bed, 2)drinking coffee, 3)checking blogs, 4)watching food network, 5)not worrying about cooking dinner tonight because I know my husband is taking me out.

That, for the time being, while we hang out here between living in Texas and living in Omaha is happiness.

Monday, March 10, 2008

All things New

First of all I would like to mention that my blog title was once the theme of a church retreat that my Catholic Student Association put on one time...

Second of all, I have a question: is there a hidden meaning behind hurting yourself twice in 2 days both on the lower half of the left side of the body? just curious because sure enough I somehow ran into the bumper of our truck and have a massive sized bruise on my thigh, and then while packing two cookbooks fell on my foot which resulted in another nasty bruise. The funny thing is that I really dont have a problem being clumsy...just recently. Also, my legs usually constantly itch at night especially if there is something even remotely stressful going on.

So, now is the point where I say sorry about not posting too often, but since we were preparing to move, I actually had to finish up projects at work and not sit around and think up and write blog fodder. Dont worry though, I read your posts out there and laughed a long... but then I got back to work.

So what am I doing now? Being a temporary housewife for 4 weeks thats what! and I do mean temporary in every sense of the word! First of all the Omaha plans have been delayed for a little while since we are actually in Tulsa for 4 weeks while Chad does some interim management here, THEN we will move on to Omaha where I will hopefully have found a job and move in our apartment. Where does one live temporarily in Tulsa...a corporate apartment, which doesn't really let me have too many housewively duties since basically you just move in with food and clothes and everything else is provided.

Provided in the sense of 1 bowl in the dish set, one 2 cup measuring cup...no toaster oven... 2 spoons in the cutlery set and NO real knives for cooking!! This may be an issue but since this is our first day I have yet to need a big knife yet. Oh also, I should have brought my spice rack because spices are expensive to buy all over again and I dont know yet how I will cook real meals. For now I have (jarred) spaghetti sauce and pasta on tap and couple other boxed dinner/soups... we cant eat like that for 3 weeks though! Good thing I have access to the country club fitness center through our apartment!

Anyway, thats the latest on our journey so far!

ps. Have YOU ever had to pay a $3.50 toll? I was told its our retribution to the Inidans... after I heard that I kinda wanted to pay them $350! It would be interesting to find out what the Indian Reservation is like.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Great Find!


If you know me at all you know I am ADDICTED to buying cook books! I found a really yummy looking one the last time I was at Williams & Sonoma...and it was on the clearance table...and it was marked $7!! Score! I got up to the counter and the sales lady rang it up along with the other things I was purchasing... $2.99... $3 for a $30 cookbook! Needless to say I went and got 2 more for gifts!

Chad and I (read:mostly I) LOVE dessert but we are really trying to be health concious and it doesn't help to have sweets around all the time! A lot of these recipes are fruit based which adds the healthy sweetness but many of them are traditional cakes and custards too. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet but they all look DELICIOUS!

Yummy on a cold day!

So I don't have any pictures for these (I think...) but these are a few things that I have made for dinner recently. All of them turned out really great and I have a few comments under each dish to give you some insight!

roast pork chop with cheddar and bacon polenta

5 c milk
1 c instant polenta
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground pepper, divided
1/4 c butter
1/4 c grated cheddar cheese
4 large pork chops
2 T vegetable oil

In a medium sauce pan bring milk to boil over medium high heat. Add polenta and bacon, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, cook stirring frequently until polenta is soft. Stir in butter and cheese, set aside and keep warm. Sprinkle pork chops with remaining salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Add pork chops and cook 10 minutes, turning occassionally. Serve pork over polenta.

*delicious but overkill on the polenta. you dont need to make this much for the recipe, we had plenty left over. it is also only good the first time around and not so good warmed up.

Potato-Green Chili Soup

1 30 oz bag frozen hash-brown potatoes
3 14 oz cans chicken broth
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
minced green onions

in a 6 quart electric slow cooker combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion, chilis and pepper. cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Stir in cream cheese; cook 30 minutes, stirring occassionally, until combined. Garnish with green onions if desred.

*really good and if you dont add the bacon it can be a great Friday Lenten meal... I guess I am a cheater because it has the chicken soups in it and I still consider it a good Friday Lent meal for me! Also good if you add a slice of cheddar cheese on top before eating.

Broiled salmon fillets with tomatoes and herbs

2 very ripe beefsteak tomaotes, cored, seeded and cut into a 1/2 inch dice.
5 T olive oil
3 T soy sauce
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 C fresh basil leaves
2 tsp finely chopped mint
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
4 firm fish fillet
2 T olive oil
eight 1/2 inch thick onion slices

combine tomatoes, 5T olive oil, soy sauce, basil, mint and black peper. cover the salsa and let stand 30-40 minutes.

preheat the broiler. generously brush all sides of fish fillets with 2 T olive oil, season well with salt and black pepper. Brush the onion sliceswith olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Place the fish on a broiler pan and overlap 2 onion slices on each fillet. broil about 8 inches from the heat until the onion has wilted and carmelized, 12-15 minutes. Do not worry if the onions char here and there, but if they start to blacken, cover with foil. Check the fish for doneness, it should be opaque throughout. Remove the fish to plates and serve with tomato salsa.

*really good and good left over and rewarmed in foil packet in toaster oven!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Valentines Recap

Chad and I didn't do anything too big this year for the actual day OF Valentine's. We went skiing earlier this month and that was our offical Valentines Day EVENT! I did make dinner, Chad did the steaks, and we watched "Good Luck Chuck". The movie was good although a little inappropriate but funny. The dinner turned out great and although Chad had to help out more than I would have wanted it was a success.

Drinks: Pomegrante Champagne
Appetizer: Stuffed Mushrooms
Entree: Steaks ala Chad
Vegetable: Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Vegetable: Lemon Green Beans with Pine Nuts
Bread: Parmesan Pepper Bread
Dessert: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Recipes and Pictures below:

Pomegrante Champagne: rim glass in pom juice and coat with sugar. fill 2/3 full with champagne and add pom juice until desired color

Stuffed Mushrooms:
1/2 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
28 large (2 1/2-inch-diameter) white mushrooms, stemmed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Stir the bread crumbs, Pecorino Romano, garlic, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl to blend.
Drizzle a heavy large baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, to coat. Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up. Drizzle remaining oil over the filling in each mushroom. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on top, about 25 minutes. Serve.

Lemon Green Beans w/ Pine Nuts:
1/3 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed, blanched in boiling salted water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Drain green beans well and pat dry.
Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep from burning. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Add the green beans and toss to coat evenly. Cook just enough to warm through, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper and toss to combine. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

(see recipe below for green beans)

Steaks: Chads secret recipe

Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potaotes:
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup bourbon
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Transfer to oven and bake until very tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
Cut open each potato and scoop out flesh into a large bowl; discard skins. Add cream, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, and salt; mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, place potato flesh, cream, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on high until well combined. Serve immediately.
(for pic, see corner of steak picture)

Parmesan Pepper Bread: from my bread maker book

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing: Red Velvet boxed cake mix, Icing: 8 oz cream cheese
4 oz butter
3 3/4 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 tea. vanilla extract
1/8 tea. salt
Cream the butter, cheese and salt in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar until incorporated, then add the vanilla.
(photo coming...picture red cupcakes with white swirls)

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I know its been forever, I'm sorry! We have had a lot going on and somehow I haven't found time to post! We have big news though!

As of February 11th we got the word that we will be moving to Omaha, Nebraska in mid-March. Chad got a transfer/promotion at work which will relocate us to the corporate headquarters of ConAgra Foods.

I think that development is going to turn this blog into more of a way for us to keep up with our friends and family in Texas and tell/show them all the new and exciting things that we are doing in Omaha.

Hopefully later today I will update on some of the recent happenings including our ski trip to Santa Fe early in the month to my yummy Valentines dinner!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Annoying much?

Is any one else annoyed every morning when it seems that the Today Show just copies the Yahoo News top stories? I mean really, I already read about that junk... tell me something NEW!

An example from this morning:
Read this morning: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080129/lf_nm_life/depression_age_dc_2
Then reported on the Today Show: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22896014/

They did not report this however (at least what I saw)...

Do you find news stations just re-reporting the same old news? How does all that work anyway?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wondefully Beautiful Things!

(this post NOT sponsored by Anthropologie)

I had always heard of this store by some design centered friends and websites but I had never visited the website or store. All the things I have heard or seen about the store have featured beautiful things that are pretty expensive so I tried to stay away...but the trying didn't work! I went to the store during my lunch break recently and FELL IN LOVE and although I like shopping, I usually don't fall in love/infatuation with a particular store (ikea excluded). When I went inside I literally ended up spending my whole break plus some just browsing around and looking/touching the merchandise. I suppose I was never told to "look and not touch" because I have to hold something in my hand to experience it.

So, below I am going to post some amazingly wonderfully beautiful things I found but you HAVE to visit a store near you to get the full effect of the store and its "culture"!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's just so sad...

My first thought... "no hes not, this is just a rumor"
My second thought "this cant be, not Heath Ledger..."

It's not like I knew him personally but he was my quintessential teenage celeb crush. It all started with 10 Things I Hate About You .

Completely ruined my day.

...for you guys laughing at this, imagine if Sean Connery died (Sean Connery, please dont die)...see, now you get it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Warm Food for a Cold Day...mmm...good!

I know, I know... you've been waiting all this time and you're probably expecting some super exciting story and here I am giving you recipes... HOWEVER, you will LOVE ME FOREVER after you try these and if the pictures dont amaze you, well, maybe you'll chip in to buy me a new camera!

Chicken Florentine

(I actually halved this recipe and my husband and ate it for 3 wonderful days)

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
6 chicken breast halves (about 4 pounds), cooked, boned, and shredded (um, yea...do this ahead of time)
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream (I used fat free)
2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice(I used bottled)
1 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
(I did 1/4 cup bread crumbs and 1/4 cup french fried onions left over from Thanksgiving, it added a nice crunch and more flavor)
2 tablespoons butter

Remove the outer wrappers from the box of spinach. Open 1 end of each box. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain the spinach and put into a large bowl. Add the shredded chicken.

In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, Cheddar, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper, to taste, and wine. Whisk together to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the spinach and chicken. Mix well with a spatula.

Place the mixture into an 11 by 7-inch casserole dish or 2 (9-inch) square disposable aluminum foil pans that have been sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula. Combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Dot with the butter.

Wrap the uncooked casserole securely with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil. Place each pan into a plastic freezer bag and seal. Place into freezer.
Allow casserole to thaw 24 hours in refrigerator. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and foil. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes until bubbly.

Finished pre-cooked product:

Finished product:

(small dent in the middle from testing hot-ness)

Then I made this creamy orzo to go with it that was also delicious:

Creamy Orzo

1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, juices drained
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a heavy large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas. Add the orzo and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Parmesan to the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Stir the pasta mixture until the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. Season the orzo with salt and pepper, and serve.

orzo = cooked, tomatoes = getting cooked... multitasking is great.

finished product orzo...blurry but good...so good the cameras eyes glazed over...

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I know, I'm a slacker... I promised you a new post with new pictures and you waited and waited and got NUTHIN'! Again, I apologize... I was intending to post last night after dinner but dinner turned into more of a fiasco than I anticipated and I started researching something... WHAT was I researching? ...oh, just a little thing like our trip to NEW YORK! WooHoo! I got a travel book from the library and was lucky enough to get one published in the last decade so I know its current...and actually its 2007 which rocks even more... as we plan things to do I will post those too!

Anyway...just a small note to let you know I will be sharing recent feats in the kitchen soon! Heres a hint... it has to do with our favorite sailor man!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


You are most likely not human if you don't think the post linked below isn't HILARIOUS!


more posting later once i upload some photos...


Friday, January 11, 2008

Mission Impossible: Search of the PERFECT Jeans

Shopping for jeans is about as much fun as getting an eyebrow wax... My problem with buying jeans is that I am looking for a low rise/bootcut/dark rinse/long (at least 34" inseam). I have tried Gap and they stretch out too much resulting in a butt that looks like its housing a dirty diaper. Express does pretty well in way of jeans but I just can't quite bring myself to spend $80 on something like that. I have tried to rationalize it before saying that if I calculated the "cost/per wear" then the jeans are definitly affordable. In the end though, I just dont feel comfortable wearing something so expensive. I have found though that it is hard to find jeans in the right length for me! I think it all stems from a childhood fear of putting my tall body in a pair of too-short jeans would increase the "wierd-o" factor of being tall than the "models are tall too" factor. Now I am not extremely tall being 5'10"(150.0-ish lbs.)and wearing a 9/10 pants but I still dont want pants that are above the top of my shoe or pool and drag rediculously on the floor...WHERE IS MY HAPPY MEDIUM!

Anyway, last weekend I bought a pair of jeans at The Limited. They were the Sexy Drew style and looked great on. Definitly completed the "low-rise" need. They were plenty long and pretty wide-leg. Once I got them home though and on with my typical boots... I looked straight out of the 70's...hello bellbottoms! I tried to fool myself by saying that an ironed crease in the front would take away the extreme flair, but it didnt work... back they went to the store!

Next I bought a pair of lucky jeans earlier this week. Usually they would fall outside my price range but these were on sale so I HAD to try them on. These were the "Sweet and Low" style and fell PERFECTLY to the ground with my tall brown boots on. However once I got home, I realized that I looked sloppy with them bunched around my feet with shorter shoes. Also, they were a little baggy in the butt and I know from experience that, for me, jeans dont shrink, they expand! I took them back and continuted the hunt for perfect jeans. The photo I posted makes them look HORRIBLE but they looked much better on.

After that I headed to an unlikely place for nice jeans... Charlotte Russe. I already have a pair of jeans from here but they have a hole in the knee thus the need for new jeans. The store brand of denim is called Refuge. I tried on about 4 different pairs on settled on the ones in the picture...the wonderful news...$16.99! What luck!

Since I was on a roll I headed to American Eagle to check out the sale I had been browsing on-line. In the end I bought jeans that I hadn't even bothered to look at on-line but they fit great. A little higher price point but I rationalized it with the $16 pair! I also scored a cute blouse and knitted cardigan for $10 and $15 respectively! Yay, go me!

What do you look for in a perfect pair of pants? Where do you find them?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ohh, ps. I forgot... it's Delurking Day!

Yep, that's right. The Official Delurking Day is back. Read the site? Comment. THANKS!, do it again. I know there are dozens of you that tuned in yesterday so why don't you comment today!! A little shy? Come on, comment - you know you wanna. You'll be glad you did. And so will all the bloggers already hard at work on tomorrow's posts.

Pumpkin-Orange Spice Bread = Yum Yum YUM!

I found this recipe in my Newlywed Cookbook (by Robin Miller) when I was looking for things to make for dinner this week. It sounded good although maybe a bit out of season with the pumpkin. Result...DELICIOUS.

The pan I put it in was a 8.5 inch glass bread pan and I put a pizza pan underneath incase any spilt over...the batter will fill up your pan pretty full.
Also, I used 1/2 C Splenda & 1/2 C sugar and it turned out good without having that fake sugar taste.
Another note is that I was pressed for time when making this so I mixed all the wet ingredients together like instructed in step 3 BUT I let them sit in the fridge for about 2 hours while I worked out and got some errands done. I was afraid when I came back that the milk and orange juice didn't play nice and may have fought with each other while I was gone and curdled but NO SUCH THING HAPPENED, Yay! Anyway, I finished making the bread and it all turned out great!

I plan on posting more recipes in the future and how they turned out so please check in for that! Make sure you dont forget and bookmark me!

(this is not a picture of my bread, but looks just like my bread)

Here is the recipe:

1 3/4 C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 C canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 C milk
1/4 C orange juice
1 egg
1 T grated orange zest
4 T butter
1 C granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, salt and ginger. Mix well and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, orange juice, egg and orange zest and set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture and pumpkin mixture, alternating each, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Blend until smooth. Pour batter into an 8-inch loaf pan that has been coated with non-stick spray.
5. Bake 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan, on a wire rack, 10 minutes. Remove bread and cool completely.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Six Month Review... no, not that kind!

Okay… 6 month review here starting on July 4th…no no, it is not a test or a review of your performance…DON’T BE SCARED! I suppose it is actually a review of how REDICULOUSLY BUSY we keep ourselves over here at the Felderhoff Haus!

wow, it has been FOREVER since I downloaded the old pictures off of our digital cameras! The first set is from when we went to the Rangers game on July 4th. Having never been able to afford the nice close to the field (ie. close view of those great baseball pants) it was nice to score tickets from Chad’s boss and no longer reside in the cheap seats. We got together with our friends Stephanie and David and enjoyed the game. I have been friends with Stephanie since 7th grade and it was so nice have a chance to hang out again! It was also very touching to have the newest graduating class of the air force there to get honored. With my brother being in the military and being overseas studying abroad in Belgium on this day, the playing of the national anthem brought a sting to my eyes. The Rangers beat the LA Angels and we got to watch a great fireworks display. I should say…APPARENTLY it was great firework show… it didn’t pay off to have great seats during the show because we couldn’t see a lot of the fireworks over the jumbo-tron.

A few days later on July 7th (07/07/07) one of my oldest friends, Kelly Wing got married in the same church that I had a couple months earlier. I was a reader but so dang nervous! Luckily it was in a church I was used to and comfortable with. The reception was at The Atrium in Garland which is a GORGEOUS glass surrounded by lots of trees outside which is really nice. However, there was one STRANGE thing outside… when we got there we noticed a large blue helicopter with a couple of guys in flight suits hanging around. I thought that maybe there was a flight museum inside. It dawned on me a later that this helicopter wasn’t just for show. Turns out, to Jon’s surprise, he and Kelly would make quite an exit flying high in the sky to DFW airport. It was so cool to watch the propellers start spinning and watch the happy couple jump in the helicopter and fly away! I tried to get pictures of this but it was too dark to really make out anything in the blurry shots!

In August another friend got married (sense a trend? it’s not over yet!) in Lubbock. This was Angela and Theo who I had met while in college at Texas Tech through the Catholic Student Association. Angela, Andrea, Stacie, Mary and I were all in the small group and now we all live in separate parts of the state from each other. It was so nice to get the opportunity to hang out and be our goofy selves again. Thank goodness Mary’s husband and Chad get along and could have “man-talk” while the girls hung out!

In mid-July my family found out that my mom had breast cancer. Although incredibly devastating we were all happy to find out that it was in the early stages and later removed successfully. (Since then she has gone through chemo and is now having radiation and doing well) It was at that point that I knew I wanted to be involved somehow with the Race for the Cure that happens in October in Dallas every year. So, in early October my brother Matthew, Chad, our friend Norm and I walked/ran the course. Chad and Norm ran while Matthew and I walked the 5K. It was a little hard at times knowing why we were there and why it all mattered but we were really glad to be doing it. I think our “team” in all raised about $600.

In mid-October Chad and I went to Lubbock to watch our first (live) Tech game of the season. Unfortunately we lost against Colorado but it was still a lot of fun. I really enjoyed living in Lubbock while I was there but it was fun going back knowing I didn’t have classes and that I could just enjoy the atmosphere!

I already covered Thanksgiving in previous posts so I’ll skip to Christmas. It has really been fun having our first holiday as a married couple and finally I can decorate our first apartment for the holidays. I bought some really cute ornaments at World Market and actually (partially) made our stockings. I dont have a picture of the tree but it was a towering beautiful fir! If only we had a fireplace it would be perfect.

Sunday, December 23rd we went to Rockwall to have early Christmas with my parents. We started out with Mass at 10:30a at my home parish. We ate an enchilada dinner and the FINALLY got to open presents. Chad had really gotten most of his presents back in late October before deer season started. He needed camouflage cover-alls and a heavy coat for hunting season so needless to say he didn’t have truckload of gifts at Christmas from my parents. I had been hinting for a leather ottoman for our living room which is just what I got. I also had talked about wanting a weather radio for when the weather gets bad and our cable goes out and I got a super duper weather radio/TV radio/cell charger/everything else that will be great! That evening we drove to Muenster for the Felderhoff/Metzler Christmas.

Monday morning Chad went hunting on his parent’s property while I slept in. That day his mom and I cooked and baked to get things ready for the Felderhoff Christmas that evening. I also got to share in the family tradition of making Divinity candy. It’s a detailed process but it turned out pretty dang good! Once Chad’s siblings got into town we headed over to his Grandparents house where we ate, talked, read the nativity story, sang Christmas carols and opened presents. After that we went to Midnight Mass which was a beautiful celebration! Tuesday we went to the Metzler side of the family celebration and all the food and desserts were delicious! There was also a gift exchange and Chad and I scored a “Fry Daddy” and a set of poker chips!

That weekend we headed to San Antonio for a wedding that Chad was a groomsman in. Chad has known Steve since his freshman college days and we are so happy that he has met Allison. She is such a sweet girl and they make a very nice couple. We tried to leave as early as possible on Friday but unfortunately we missed the rehearsal and were late for the rehearsal dinner. All the events were at the La Cantera Resort and Hotel ( which was beautiful! The location of the ceremony looked over an area that looked like and Italian landscape. We didn’t get to stay at the resort but we walked around a bit and vowed to come back someday to stay overnight.

On New Years Eve we got together with our friends Ashley and Brian that just moved to the area and Chad’s brother Mitch and his girlfriend Aubree. We all went out to dinner at I’Fratelli’s Italian Restaurant and then went to Champs Sports Bar for a drink. Chad and I had been to the restaurant before and it is delicious. They have the best bread and the food is really good too. After that we came back to our apartment and played poker. I have not played that often and am not very good but it was still fun.

To start New Years off right we went to the gym! I know, surprising but it really wasn’t that hard to get the motivation and I was glad that I went. Chad and Mitch hit the weights while Aubree and I went to a spin class. Now… I have ridden a bike before but the seat on this bike SUCKED. The class was 60 minutes and I think I was sore for almost a week! Apparently they don’t invest in padding at that place and I don’t think I could take another class like that. It was good though to get our heart rates up and feel good about getting a good workout in on the first day of the new year! We made it home just in time for our friends to start arriving for the Bowl Game watching party we hosted. Texas Tech was in the Gator Bowl against the University of Virginia. It looked like we might lose for a little while but they pulled it out in the end… there’s a reason we call them “Heart Attack Tech”!

This past Saturday we got together with a group of friends to go bowling in Plano. We have another set of friends, Eric and Jackie, which just moved to the metroplex so we knew it would be fun to get together. Although I lost every game, we played 3 different times and stayed there until about 11:00p.

Sunday we tried a new church. We like St. Michaels but Chad’s uncle is a deacon at St. Ann Catholic Church in Coppell so we tried that for a change. It was WONDERFUL. It is much more my type with the traditional architecture and design. I really liked the priest homily and it seems like a very warm and inviting community. They are a parish of 23,000 people and have a wonderful young adults group that we want to get involved with. The music minister is named Curtis Stephan and has done wonderful things through Spirit and Song. It is refreshing as a young person to have contemporary uplifting songs as well as the old favorites during the liturgy. We will be going there again soon to decide if we want to switch.

OKAY... that should be enough to get you hooked and get me updated to present!
...make sure to leave comments!