Friday, October 30, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Road Trip!

dallas2009 008

My friend, Beth, and I escaped our grad school surroundings for awhile and went to Dallas. I've been busy catching up from a weekend away but here are some highlights.

  • Cooking class at Central Market- the theme was "cooking with wine" and it was a total blast.
  • A glass of bubbly at Veritas after class.
  • The Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth had an amazing collection and the building itself was really cool.
  • Dinner out at Local, a restaurant specializing in, believe it or not, local and organic foods.
  • Dessert at La Duni (cuatro leches cake!)
  • Pedicures

Sunday, October 18, 2009

From Baking to Candle-Making


Besides baking this weekend, Austin and I made 12 jar candles. I absolutely love seasonally-scented candles and so we decided to try our hand at making our own. It wasn't so difficult, basically we melted the wax, added fragrance, color, then poured and let cool. Austin was the wick-wizard, using some kind of special 3M tape to hold the wicks in place so they withstood the poor and then we fashioned some wick-holders out of random flotsam and jetsam from the garage. As a result, we now have Harvest and Home for the Holidays (Yankee Candle knock-off) scented candles along with Lime-Ginger. It was a lot of fun and the 16 ounce jars come out to about $6/each for materials. Not bad.



Weekend Baking

Berry Pound Cake

The baking is a result of some booking; two girlfriends and I have an interstate (Iowa-Georgia-Texas) book group that we conduct via conference call and the books we read tend to relate to women and cooking. Our first pick, A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg was chock full of tempting recipes and I just got around to making the first, the Raspberry-Blueberry Pound Cake that was recommended by Jill of our book group. Indeed, the recipe did not disappointed. I basically followed the linked recipe except that I used frozen berries and cheap cherry brandy instead of kirsch. It turned out wonderfully and Austin keeps nibbling on it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Saturday and Sunday

The rest of the weekend kind of blurred together so here are some random bullet points.

  • I got a Halloween costume (Victorian Queen whatever that is).
  • We bought and Austin installed a few Halloween lights and decorations.
  • Austin made a huge vat of delicious, spicy chili.
  • I did some fun reading for my book group.
  • Stinky got a lot of love and attention since he was feeling kind of clingy.
  • Austin made a panel for our back patio door that allows the cat to come in the house and leave as he pleases.
  • I discovered that a black tea latte with pumpkin spice syrup is a nice, seasonal alternative to my usual Earl Grey vanilla lattes.
  • We watched too much football.
  • I studied.
  • There was also some laundry.
  • I guess it gets a little boring here so I'll sign off.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday Night

Just like in MN/WI, the weather here can have mood swings. On Thursday, it was almost 90 and on Friday, it was barely able to make it into the 60s with gray skies and rain. The latter is my favorite weather and I happily dug out my sweaters, sipped tea, and watched Obama's speech about the Nobel Peace Prize (yay!). A package of Snickerdoodles arrived (part of Austin's fall treat exchange) and I made pumpkin bread.

For dinner, we tried to recreate the Cajun pasta we had for our wedding dinner and got very good results. First, we sauteed veggies in butter.

Veggie Sautee

Then we took a pint of cream and brought it to nearly boiling, turning the heat down adding some basil, parsley, shallots, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and cayenne. We stirred in about a half cup of a mozzarella-parmesan cheese mix then threw in the veggies and served it over fettuccine. I, of course, had to put even more Parmesan on top of mine.

Cajun Pasta

After dinner, we had our first fire of the season and it was perfect.

First Fire of the Season

Monday, October 5, 2009

Congratulations, Julie and Sean!

Yesterday, one of my best friends got married in a beautiful ceremony filled with flowers and then we moved on to a very warm, cozy reception at a fabulous Italian restaurant. Click on any picture to see the full set on Flickr.

Wedding Reception