Friday, September 24, 2010

Meringue madness.

It's a delicate, pure, crispy dollop of sweetness... and an hours worth of hand whisking (and a little frustration... and saying "I give up, this is ridiculous" a few (7) times, and asking Ryan to whisk...and 2 glasses of wine).
I do not own a hand mixer, but after last night's little kitchen experiment, I'll be investing the $20 in a Black & Decker. I feel like I got frogged in the arm a few times...but I'm gonna say it's worth it.
Total time spent making 12 cookies? 3.5 hours. About 1 whisking, 2 in the oven and 30 minutes for cooling/drying out.

It's the little victories, you know?
I used this recipe (minus the electric mixer of course...)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Almond Crusted Chicken

For my birthday my parents gave me a food processor. No idea how they knew I wanted/needed a food processor, so I'll call it good parental intuition. While perusing the internets for some dinner recipes involving food processors I came across this great one for almond crusted chicken. I made this last night for dinner and no one hated it. In fact, everyone really liked it, so huzzah! Will make again and you should give it a shot!

[Adjustment note: I don't have paprika or dry mustard...but what I do have is crushed red pepper. I threw about 1.5 teaspoons of that in there and it worked out great. Also used 1.15 lb chicken tenders instead of just 1 lb. I thought i would have enough "batter" mixture for all of it, but apparently I was coating the crud out of these chicken strips and had to make a 1/2 batch more. I had a total of about 10 strips.

[ enlarge to view ]

[ Adjustment note... 475 degrees is hot. like.. holy smoke...literally we had to open the doors because smoke filled the kitchen... I guess something was stuck to the oven rack and burned to a crisp when i was pre-heating. These directions tell you 475 for 20-25 minutes but I cooked mine at 400 for about 30-ish minutes. At the 15 minute mark I flipped them. ]
Here they are 1/2 way done, at 15 minutes.

They were juicy, crispy, delish, and not fried but coated in heart-healthy almonds!

fun at the amusement park... i mean bar.

Greetings from...

[ view from outside during the day]

Yup. I know you've been looking for a retro circus themed watering hole. Welp.. this is it. You're welcome.
[ drinking and driving discouraged...]

Market Square Park, Downtown Houston

Long time-no post! Things have been a bit crazy at work, no time to post, and honestly I haven't been taking photos like I used to lately, so today I will play catch-up.
I'll start with my little visit to the new Market Square Park in downtown Houston. Once a vibrant market hub in the middle of the city in the later 1800s, it fell into disarray, serving as a bus depot in the 40s and 50s and a parking lot in the 60s and 70s. Luckily the space has been rehabbed and is now a beautiful little park complete with fountains, gardens, a dog park and there's even a smaller version of Montrose's Niko Niko's Greek restaurant. [See this article to learn a little more. ]
After brunch with the fam on Sunday we walked over and I snapped a few shots. I can't wait to visit again, maybe get some lunch, when it cools off a bit.

[ Dog sculpture near dog park made from a tree that hurricane Ike brought down in Galveston in 2008]
[ city-scape sculpture]

[ September 11th memorial]

[ Unique water fixture/9/11 memorial, each stone represents a life lost on that day]
If you happen to be downtown any time soon, plan a little visit to this park. People attract people!

Friday, September 10, 2010

If you give your friends fun toys for their birthdays, sometimes they let you play with them too...

Ya'll remember Perler craft? Ohmygod... my sister and I would spend hours playing with this stuff...and last night I remembered how awesome it is. I gave Nora a bucket for her birthday and we played last night! She made a super cute dino and a robot head and I made this flamingo magnet! oooooo wannabuymorebeads.
These are the good kinds of addictions.

You'll have a good time... "I ga-ron-tee" - Justin Wilson

Ryan and I finally made our way over to the Crescent City for the long labor day weekend. It was Ryan's first visit so of course I made a list of things he had to see/do/eat. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the trip and I still have a few more to upload. Just so happened to be the 36th annual Southern Decadence festival and the French Quarter was buzzing at all hours. We stayed up late and woke up early so we wouldn't miss anything... and I'm not quite sure I'm fully recovered 4 days later.

Napoleon House- oldest bar in the Quarter!

Behind St. Louis Cathedral at night

Bourbon Street
Jax Brewery
The Dome! (Where the Saints beat the Vikings last night! YUS!)

Where the levees broke, the source of much devastation in the city.
9th Ward. I don't even know...

Sal's snoballs in Metairie!
St. Louis Cathedral
Gift shop silliness.

Cafe du Monde!
(real pretty, me. yeesh...)
We had such an amazing trip, saw so much and walked everywhere and still have some "must-sees" on the list to save for next time. So wonderful to visit with some family, too! The weather was perfection, we ate, drank, strolled and relaxed. You can't not love this city.


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