Sunday, December 23, 2012

Homemade Maraschino Cherries

I am keeping up with the Christmas baking. Trying hard to get caught up because there has been so much going on this month! I was watching the food usual...and Ted Allen had the greatest and most simple recipe for maraschino cherries so, I went with it. All you need are sour cherries and Maraschino Liquor. Come to find out, both are rather hard to come by. But, with several calls to several places I was able to collect my ingredients. All you do it bring to a simmer one cup of Maraschino Liquor. I used Luxardo. After your liquor is simmering, add your sour cherries. You can use fresh ones, which I will do next time but they are not in season, or you can use canned sour cherries that you have drained. Stir the cherries in and turn of the heat. Allow them to cool and put in jars. I actually added a tiny bit of sugar to sweeten them up just a little while the liquor and cherries were still warm. There you have it!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Marshmallow Madness!!

Making homemade marshmallows is so much fun. Not only are they delicious, you know exactly what goes in them...unlike some of the mysterious kind you can pick up at the store. Some time ago, my mother got me the greatest little marshmallow making book by Shauna Sever called Marshmallow Madness. Sorry Martha...but these marshmallows are better...and easier to prepare. I like to make them around Christmas and Valentine's day, however, there are so many brilliant recipes in this book, I just might make a different marshmallow once a month! I have a little something in mind for these that I can't post about until after Christmas. 

Happy Christmas! 

Monday, December 17, 2012


I have fallen off the radar once again. I seem to have been doing that a lot lately when it comes to my blogging! I was getting back in the routine of it and then something happened that I did not really see coming which resulted in my lack of blogging. My sweet little Millie got sick unexpectedly right before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, she died, which was devastating. I wasn't quite ready to let her go. I am very grateful that I had her for the past 11 years. She was one of the best dogs I have ever owned. She was loyal, laid back, and so quirky! I miss her rolling all over the couch and knocking the couch pillows on the floor. She loved when we sang to her too. We had all kinds of songs made up for her and she would get really excited to hear them. She was my roach killer too! All I had to go was scream and point and she was on it. She thought she was a person really. She was more than a dog, she was a loyal companion and a part of the family. Here she is in her finest form, when I made her wear a life jacket in the lake. 

This is just a few days before she died. I knew there was something not right and something told me to take a picture of her while she slept.

The house just seemed so empty without a dog. We are animal people and especially love dogs. Even though we have the cats who bring us just as much joy...but in a cat way...we were still kind of lonely. So, we decided it was time to get another. We found a boxer breeder who had a litter that was delivered in October and would be ready December 17th. Several weeks ago we made a trip to meet our new little pup, she was the last one available out of the litter and she was perfect. We got to bring her home today. She is fitting right in! Meet Penelope, in her many forms of sleep! 

She is tons of fun but also requires tons of attention since she is just only 8 weeks old. She is adjusting well though and when she is all grown up, she will be a great dog too.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happiness Is In A Cupcake

"When I die I am going to come back as a bottle of sprinkles. Sprinkles make everyone happy."
                                            ~Aunt Missy

Nuff said. Thank you Aunt Missy for putting that into perspective. :)


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Getting Corny

I love corn and even better, I love corn bread. So, I find it only fitting to share with you this recipe that my sister gave me years ago. It is a recipe from a friend of hers. My sister served this corn bread at her wedding along with pumpkin soup and it was to die for. I could go for some pumpkin soup right about now.

Yummy Corn Bread

1 c corn meal
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking power
2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 can cream corn
1 c milk
1/2 c canola oil
1-2 tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Before mixing together, measure 2 tbsp oil in 10 inch cast iron skillet (must use a cast iron skillet because it makes a huge difference). Then, put in oven to heat up for about 5-10 min. Sift together first 5 ingredients. Seperately beat eggs, add oil, milk, honey, and cream corn. Add liquid ingredients to dry mixing quickly and thourouly.  Pour into the preheated pan. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.

If you wanted to change it up try adding sharp cheddar cheese with jalapeños for a kick. I may even add a little rosemary next time too.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


You can only imagine my reaction when I came across this most wonderful vintage beverage cart! The best find in some time for me folks. I am super excited! It fits perfectly in my kitchen and goes along with my retro decor. Perfection.

The added bonus to this cart is.....

Electricity! It has an outlet! I havent tested it out just yet but when I do I hope it works!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Getting Fancy In The Kitchen...Sort Of

I often find myself cooking the same things over and over again becuase I know how to make them, have mastered the recipe, and know exactly the amount of time it will take to make it. I opt for the least amount of time always. Now, I have been trying to broaden my horizons a bit and will branch out to make something out of the comfort zone. So, I went with Apple and Rosemary Pork Roulade from Cooking Light. I love cooking light because not only are the recipes amazeballs they are well put together and you are given the exact amount of time it will take to prepare and cook. What I love even more about Cooking Light is that I now can download it to my iPad. For some reason, reading a magazine is so much more fun on the iPad. This was fun becaue I have never "butterflied" anything, much less stuffed it with yummy goodness. So folks, I give you my first attempt!

Make it if you are a carnevor. It is pretty nice and very conducive to the Fall food category. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Impromptu Pigs

So, Sundays around the Lucas house hold consist primarily of football. I, however, do not partake in this event. I have learned that I do not speak in the living room while football is on and walking in front of the TV is forbidden. I have also learned that when bad words are spoken they are not directed at me. Rather, only directed at the TV station and the computer station where the fantasy football is monitored regularly throghout the day. I have learned to carry on my day with no question. I have learned that I am free to do whatever I see fit on Sunday, as long as I do not disturb the system of manhood in the living room. I am okay with that. I have also learned that the man being in the living room will eat pretty much anything I feed it since it does not get off the couch at all during this sacred time.

As I was chatting with my sis via skype, she suggested that pigs in a blanket fair well as a nice sporty appitizer. I didn't really have the makings for I thought. No little smokies and not the proper ingredients to make a nice dough. But, alas, I discovered I did have some turkey kielbasa and some grands biscuits. The man beings tastebuds will likely respond to this! I just cut the turkey keilbasa down to somewhat of a little smokey size, added some great cheese from Trader Joe's and wrapped those suckers up with the buiscuit dough and there you have it. Impromptu pigs in a blanket. That equals a happy manhood system in the living room.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Austin, TX

Austin is such a great city here in Texas. It's only about a 3 hour drive for us so that's a bonus. They have a great music festival there every year in the fall and we have been going for a while now and look forward to it every year! It has been a few weeks since we got back but as usual had a great time with friends and saw some great bands too...and there was one really awful band with a consistent pattern of explicatives. That was unexpected and even more unexpected that they scheduled that band to go on next to the kids stage. I think the children watching what was going on at the kids stage may have added a few new words to their vocabulary.

We found a great studio apartment that we rented which was walking distance to the festival. That beat years past for sure. So long La Quinta, you will no longer subject us to high transportation rates with a reckless driver leaving me wondering if I will survive the ride.

The food at the fest is always excellent. Tim Love represented too. I got down on that Love Shack burger. Of, course we can never resist a Boomerangs Guinness steak and potato meat pie.

Pies sooooooo good they require several trips to the register. Go to their website now and order some. It will be more than worth it. Plus, come to think of it, come on down to Fort Worth and go to one of Tim Love's restaurants.

Well, enough about food. The weather was great. In Texas, the weather is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. It rained on Saturday with a brief...yet heavy...down pour. Other than that It was really nice.

On Saturday, we left the fest a little early. Our dear friend that was at the fest with us is a Sommelier and just recently passed his test for Advanced Sommelier. He is pretty fantastic and can sniff or sip a wine and tell you what frigging year it was made. I am pretty dumbfounded about that one but yet he says it's easy. Anyhoo, his friend that passed the certification with him just opened up a very cool wine cellar where we spent the evening.

We also celebrated our anniversary that weekend. We stayed in Austin a few extra days after the fest to relax and enjoy the town.

We went to 24 Diner for lunch. It was delicious! Jeff had Chicken and Waffles, yum.

I had the pulled chicken breast sandwich. It had goat cheese on it. That's all I needed to know.

We walked up an down South Congress which has tons of shops, restaurants, quaint hotels, and coffee shops. There is the coolest antique store called Uncommon Objects. We were in there forever. They had tons of cool and strange things. I had to resist the urge to take pictures because of all the "no camera" signs. I saw other people do it but I guess I am too by the book, darn it. I just imagine sirens going off and the authorities tackling me if I do something bad! Ha!

We happened across a great hat shop called Goorin Bros. Jeff picked up a spiffy new hat.

This store is awesome. The minute you walk in it is like you have walked back into time. I could picture myself shopping for a hat in the early 1900's in there. I love how they wrap the hats up too! Check this place out folks!

We also happened across The Impeccable Pig. Super cute store! I got myself a nice new winter coat.

All the shopping worked up a thirst so we stopped at Jo's Coffee. Best coffee ever folks! I haven't had someone make coffee that good since I was a barista at a little old coffee shop in my under grad days called Coffee Haus. Word.

Then, it was back to the studio for a little relaxation to end our vacay and to crack open the bottle of wine our Sommelier friend gave us 2 years ago on our wedding day. Ah, the simple things in life!

 Thank you Austin. You delivered as usual.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

Let the carving commence!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

What Tha Yurt?

Yurt: A yurt is a portable, bent wood-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by Turick nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises a crown or compression wheel (tüýnük) usually steam bent supported by roof ribs which are bent down at the end where they meet the lattice wall (again steam bent).~thank you Wikipedia.

I have decided that I want a Yurt. Forget camping with a tent. Well, I've never actually been camping in a tent other than the back yard of my grandparents farm. But that was totally camping, with a tent and everything and coyotes howling in the distance. But camping in a tent? You've got to be kidding after I have discovered the Yurt. Not only is the name incredibly awesome to vocalize but, most importantly, these things are freaking awesome! Talk about camping in luxury, which is my style of camping. Some people actually have more stable Yurts as their homes or even vacation homes but others have portable Yurts for camping or even greenhouses in their backyards! Watch out hubs, we are going to end up with a Yurt for every purpose! 

First of all you need a Yurt frame such as these examples. I am fascinated. The hubs just inherited some tools from my late uncle. I'm thinking its prime time to put him to work with those tools so he can make a nice little frame for me. He can take care of the exterior and just leave the interior to me. 

I've found the more permanent vacation home types have the nice wood floor. The Yurts for camping don't but I can totally live with that.

Various finished Yurts suitable for camping and/or vacationing: 

The interior of the Yurt:

Interested in purchasing a Yurt? Yep same here. I've done some research for you. They are dang expensive so just keep that tucked away in your mind. Here are a couple neat Yurt sellers:

Camping in a Yurt? Why I think I will if I do say so myself!


It's Pumpkin Time!

I went to Central Market after work on Friday to pick up a dinner for two for the hubs and me. I felt like I was walking into a pumpkin wonderland. I was almost knocked over with fall decorating ideas. Pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Then, Fall set in. Is it really Fall? I managed to survive suffering thorough 100 plus degrees for the 33rd year in my life? The torture, why do I do it? I do love my town but the heat can take a hike. But, Fall is finally here. Ah, my favorite time of year. Well, any time of year other than Summer is my favorite in Texas but Fall is numero uno. This time of year means pumpkin everything, including waffles with a side of leftover turkey sausage from yesterday. Hello pumpkin waffles...yes please.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Yummy Lunch Wonderful Weather

Finally! Texas has cooled off! I am doing my happy dance now. Plus, not only has it cooled off it has been rainy as well. Cool rainy weather...I couldn't ask for more! This kind of weather makes me motivated to be a bit more the craft room and the kitchen! So, I perused my new issue of cooking light and found a great recipe for Italian sausage hoagies. It was delish and plenty was left over for dinner so I didn't have to cook twice in one day. I also spray painted my front porch furniture. I love it so far. I have a few more things to do before I post pictures. Living the good life today folks. 


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Roasting Some Chiles!

This is the time of year for Hatch Chiles. Yum! I look forward to it every year. Central Market has a festival with a plethora of fresh Chiles for your roasting pleasure. Plus, they sell just about anything Hatch! My favorite is the Hatch Chile brownie and Hatch Chile scones. OMG. Oh, wait...also the Hatch Chile crab cake and Hatch Chile fajita wrap. Obviously I have more than one favorite. So, in order to enjoy my love of Hatch Chiles throughout the year I bought about 30 of them to roast and freeze. Roasting peppers is very easy peasy.

How to roast Hatch Chiles (any just about any other Chile pepper you want):

Place your Chiles directly on a preheated grill

Roast the Chiles until the skin begins to blister then turn. Continue to roast until all sides are blistered

Place in a large zip lock bag and seal. Leave the peppers in the bag for about 5 minutes. This process helps the skin to come off. Open the bag and place the peppers, one at a time, under cold running water and peel off the skin. You may want to wear gloves depending on how hot (spicy hot) your peppers are because your skin may be burned from the acidity of the pepper.

Once you have peeled your pepper you can put it in the freezer whole to preserve or you can slice and dice and serve!

If you choose to can your peppers  you will need to use a pressure canner so you don't succumb to food poisoning a few months down the line when you decide to eat them. 


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