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Day 3 in Kemah, Texas

10 Jan

We had horrible weather yesterday.  The storm sounded like 18 wheelers crashing into each other.  The ground and our walls shook for hours.   Many work places and schools were closed due to flooding.  As for me, a person who is not a fan of bad weather, it was scary.

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We haven’t figured it out yet, but across from our apartment looks like a farm of some sort.

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This is a lake beside the lake in our apartment’s property that belongs to a trailer park, and they have a sign posted that reads; “Beware of alligator that has been seen in this lake, take caution when walking around lake”.

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When the sun came out we took a ride, and as we went over a few bridges I was able take a few snaps of the homes in the beach town.

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We have a few plans for this weekend but, staying close to home and explore what is around us.   Luis picked his schedule for work and he will be working 9 hour days so he can have every other Friday off to have long weekends with me to venture around, super sweet!

Happy Thanksgiving from Georgia

25 Nov

Luis and I spent this Thanksgiving in Sandy Springs, Georgia (just 30 mins from midtown Atlanta) with my father’s side of the family.  This was my first Thanksgiving with them, and I believe my first “real” time meeting my aunt Kim and uncle Dave.

I hardly made anything. I just watched, took pictures and experienced new family traditions and listened to new stories.

What new traditions you may ask?  Soup night the night before Thanksgiving.  We had three soups.  My aunt Kim made gumbo, my uncle Eddy made chili, and I made my pumpkin and sweet potato chowder.  The soups were delicious, and I probably had three bowls of my uncle’s chili just because it reminded me of home.  Danny’s chili back home just makes you feel safe, warm, and cozy, and Eddy’s chili gave me that same feeling.

A few of the other items I made was a batch of cinnamon spiced applesauce and sweet cranberry butter.  I later found out my grandmother always makes applesauce for Thanksgiving too.  So, that’s where I get that from.

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On Thanksgiving Day is when all the cooking, baking, and roasting begins.

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Three generations cooking in the kitchen.

This family is very organized.  Everyone was assigned jobs and even the dishes were laid out and labeled with what item would be served in it.   I had two pretty serving dishes with my name on it since the only item I was asked to make were the green beans so, I made two different kinds.  One was made with raspberry glaze and almonds while the other was made with a Dijon sauce, bacon, pearl onions, rosemary, and thyme.    I wondered if my green beans would be kid friendly, but Adan ate three helpings of the green beans with Dijon sauce so, I guess they were.

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Grandpa and Luis watched football in the house while the other boys were outside making the duck, goose, and turkey.  Thankfully, they didn’t miss any of the games since they had a T.V. outside =)

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Around noon snacks are brought out to the sunroom.

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Back inside, I caught Grandma making my dad’s favorite dessert; a chocolate pudding pie.

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Then a photo shoot with Adan.

Warning! Lot’s of photos coming up.  I thought a post with photo overload was needed since I haven’t been posting as much as I use to.  Plus, it was too hard to pick the ones I liked the most.

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Just in case you are wondering, I took 120 photos of Adan during our little session.

Half time means a break to walk to the river.

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Isn’t he a cutie?

Then it was time to play with the kids outside and make some sidewalk art masterpieces.

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Then, back into the kitchen.

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Ducks!

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THEN!! It was gobble gobble time!

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After dinner, Sofia made us whipped cream for our desserts.

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Before Luis and I headed home, aunt Kim gave me some beautiful hot plate holders/place mats that were made by my grandmother’s sister, Ruth and a ceramic trivet.  You know how much I adore family items, especially when they have been made by hand.  In love, love, love.

I hope everyone enjoyed their turkey day as much as I did.

The end!

Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner @ Home

13 Nov

Yesterday Luis and I had a Pre-Thanksgiving dinner with our friends.  Here are snaps from the day before and the day of the dinner.

Making pumpkin and sweet potato chowder.

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Making pumpkin apple butter.

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Making green bean casserole.

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Making stuffing.

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Making dessert in a jar (it’s a southern thing), and makes it an easy to-go dessert just in case you ran out of room.  Chocolate pudding, pumpkin, crumbled graham crackers with marshmallows on top that tastes even better when they are toasted or torched.

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 There were some other items that I made, but didn’t take pictures of, like the cranberry sauce, my refreshing side dish of cucumbers and red onions, corn bread soufflé, and rolls.

We had our dinner outside in the cool crisp air.  Perfect weather for frying a turkey.

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Hoki made us a traditional Thanksgiving appetizer of eel with a fried egg on top.  Haha, just kidding.

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The soup seemed to be everyone’s favorite.  Hoki and I agreed that we could eat it on a weekly basis and perfect for the cold weather.

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Then it was turkey frying time.

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By the time the turkey was done, we all dug into it and I forgot to take a picture.  No worries, I took one today while we had leftovers for lunch.

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I am beat!  It was a nice night, but lots of work.  I have done nothing today but sit on my couch and relax.  Oh lazy Sunday, how I love you, and I love you more with all the yummy leftovers.

Pork Tenderloin with Herbed Potatoes @ Home

7 Nov

I recently found an awesome blogger, The Pioneer Woman who has many talents, and one of them is making lots of yummy dishes.  She inspired me to make her pork tenderloin with cranberry sauce and creamy herbed potatoes for a pre-Halloween dinner a few weeks ago.

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Back home, my uncle Danny often makes pork tenderloin for our Sunday dinners.  We have been away from home for almost a year now, and I have not had pork tenderloin since then either so, it was time.

I made the potatoes first since they have to bake for 45 minutes.  They are made with onion, cream cheese, heavy cream, whole milk, rosemary, parsley, chives, and sage.

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Then, I whipped up a simple batch of cranberry sauce and added The Pioneer Women’s additional ingredients needed for the pork, which included; sauteed rosemary and onions with red wine and chicken broth.

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Last, and best part is the pork.  Love the smell of butter and oil heating up.  After seasoning the pork really well, sear the pork on all sides, then put in the oven for about 10 -15 minutes.

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Gorgeous and perfect!

Add the cranberry sauce on top.

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I thought this was a great meal for Halloween, something about that sauce makes it look a little spooky.

I have to say, our house smelled unbelievable and the meal was full of flavor and very comforting.  We ate every single bite and wanted more.  I don’t eat pork often, but I think that will have to change after this meal.  I can’t wait to try more recipes from The Pioneer Women and find out what else I could fall in love with.

Gladys Knight & Ron Winans’ Chicken and Waffles @ Peachtree Street

6 Nov

Today our plan was to wake up early and grab some chicken and waffles for breakfast.  We talked our two friends into coming with us for this must do experience in Atlanta, or so I have read.  It’s not hard  to talk anyone into eating, it’s the waking up early part that is hard.

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When we arrived at Gladys Knight & Ron Winans’ Chicken and Waffles Downtown Atlanta location, we were happy to see that there wasn’t a line when there usually is. Well, there was no line because the time changed and the place does not open until 11:00 a.m.  Darn, I could have slept in.  So, we hopped back into the car and drove to two more breakfast places.  The first one, West Egg had an hour wait.  That’s a negative.  Second one, Thumbs Up Diner had a 45 min wait. No and no.  Thankfully by that time, the doors would be opening soon for chicken and waffles. Oh yes, we headed back.  When we arrived, a small line had formed.  No worries, we didn’t wait long.

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For our opening act, we had fried green tomatoes and jerk chicken egg rolls.

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I had an Uptown drink, the house blend of lemonade and sweetened tea with the Midnight Train, one original waffle with four jumbo chicken wings.

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I guess we liked it since all that was left were the bones.  I couldn’t finish all of my chicken.  The wings were huge!

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This place was great!  Not your usual breakfast dish, but it hit the spot.  Oh! Happy Sunday!

Squash & Pumpkin Soup @ Home

2 Nov

For Halloween I wanted to make a squash and pumpkin soup, but I couldn’t find a pumpkin anywhere… of any kind! That  is what I get for wanting a pumpkin on the day of Halloween. So, instead I used Kabocha Squash and Sweet Dumpling Squash.

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While I was carving out the “guts” as my mom calls it from the pumpkin/squash, Luis told me he had never had pumpkin seeds before.  I do not have many memories from my childhood of Halloween, but I do have two!  =)   I remember my aunt Kathy dressing me up as a vampire one year and taking me around to trick or treat, and I have another memory from when I was really young of my mother baking pumpkin seeds while I was doing something (I can’t remember what, probably eating all the trick or treaters candy) in the living room with my grandfather.  It was probably my first and last experience with baked pumpkin seeds.  I must have enjoyed them if I still remember it so, with all the beautiful “guts” pulled out I made some spicy baked pumpkin seeds for Luis to try.

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I added sea salt and cayenne pepper to the seeds to give them a touch of heat.

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I roasted the squash with 2 chopped leaks, and 8 whole garlic cloves for 45 minutes. The smell of the squash roasting in the oven was amazing.  I wish my kitchen could always smell like that and it reminded me of Thanksgiving.  This will definitely be a dish I will be making for our pre-Thanksgiving dinner with our friends coming up next week.

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I served the soup with some spicy baked pumpkin seeds on top.  It gave the soup a nice crunch.  Sour cream would have been good with this too.  I love this soup so much, that I think I could eat it every week!

Not only do the pumpkin seeds remind me of my mom, who has a birthday today (Happy Birthday Mom!), but as soon as I tasted the soup I instantly though of my mom.  You would love this soup Mom, so you should make it, haha!

Snaps From This Week

30 Oct

Lots of little things have happened this week.

We won the Halloween door contest!

Trick or treating for the kids at 10th and Home.  Luis and I passed out the candy.

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Afterwards the GLC (Graduate Living Center) held a party for the adults, which included a candy apple bar, witches brew, and mingling.

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What did I dress up as?  I tired and hungry straight from work paralegal, haha.

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A fun Halloween treat made with Halloween Oreos and pretzels with melted white chocolate.  After mixing the ingredients together either in a ball form or into bars just refrigerate for 15 minutes and it’s ready to eat.  I shaped mine into a ball form and cut away chunks as needed.  Candy corn, mini M&M’s, or anything can be added to the mix for more Halloween fun.

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When it’s fall, not only do the trees change colors, but everything falls to the floor.

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It’s homecoming week at Georgia Tech.  Tailgaters were throughout the campus, taking up every inch of ground for our football game against the undefeated Clemson team.  It was an amazing game, the best game I have seen this season. Everyone was pumped and it showed in our game, even with some bad calls and some things that the referees “missed” we won 31 -17.  It was a nice feeling after being 6-0, then losing two games, making our comeback and winning big.  There was lots of celebrating last night.  Happy Homecoming!

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More sweet treats inspired by Southern Belle Farm, who had some adorable and very easy marshmallow treats on display. I love any dessert made with marshmallows, just like those chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies you buy around Easter. Love those things.

I made mine with an extra caramel layer.

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After the caramel hardens in the refrigerator for a few minutes, add the chocolate layer.

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You can add sprinkles, nuts, mini M&M’s, or my favorite; graham cracker crumbs for a Smore flavor. YUM!

Oh and please ignore my half painted thumb nail, as I was testing out a new fall nail polish, oops!

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With Halloween only a day away, I am making pumpkin and squash soup!

Hope you have a Happy Hallows Eve!