Friday, December 16, 2011


I’m no food critic but I know good food and Dean Fearing’s restaurant at The Ritz Carlton is where it’s at! Like seriously I woke up with a food hangover and had to hit up the Crooked Tree Coffeehouse in Uptown for a toasted marshmallow latte and vegan cinnamon roll. I can’t say enough good things about that place either. But that’s a whole nother’ entry… I even got to meet him a few times he came by our table and seemed to do the same throughout the restaurant, which was very personably. He was completely adorable and so lively. His advice for his favorite menu item was “close your eyes and point”. Love it!

Now Fearing’s has got the southern southwest flavor down, yep completely got it. I would skip the usual salad and go straight for the tortilla soup or better yet fried oyster Rockefeller, yeah you heard me fried. Now this is no cheap Monday night joint know that. I’d save it for a special date night or hell talk someone into taking you out and paying the bill. Yeah free food always makes things taste off the chain! I had a few whiskey and cokes, I know classy. They seemed to have been missing the sweet coke part but I’m not complaining. See I had a pretty eventful day with my children at their elementary school having lunch and Christmas parties. Not sure if you have ever spent a few hours at an elementary school before. But the volume of say 300 kids under the age of 12 was pretty wild. Especially the day before Christmas break, seemed the whole school was levitating with excitement.

Compliments of the chef were music to my ears for sure. We were brought two tastings i.e. shots sans alcohol of some sort of mint eggnog and butternut squash soup I think. My taste buds yearned for more, my picky man said the eggnog was more like Maalox for him. But what does he know he prefers Coors Light beer.

My main course was the Maple-Black Peppercorn Soaked Buffalo Tenderloin on Brazos Valley Jalapeño Grits, Tangle of Greens and Butternut Squash Taquito. The Buffalo was cooked to a medium perfection, and I quite possibly could have licked my plate clean. Well maybe if I was alone and not in a dining room full of people. Now I’m a big fan of grits I’ve grown up eating them. So I’m very happy that it seems the latest food trend for the past few years. I mean they are good and well kinda hard to screw up. Grits make me happy especially jalapeño flavored ones. My date had the Bone-In Rib Eye Grilled Over Live Mesquite with West Texas ‘Mop’ Sauce, Creamy Corn Bread Pudding and Tempura Asparagus. I’m afraid I didn’t try the asparagus but it looked great. And that corn bread pudding, well if I could only have one last food for the rest of my entire life that would be it!

Now off to dessert. We fought over the Chocolate, Cajeta and Salted Peanut Ice Cream Cake with Mallow Fluff and Fried Peanut Butter Pies. And I even dabbled a little in the Caramelized Apple ‘Short Stack’ Oatmeal Shortdough Cookies with Pecan Pie Ice Cream and Blackberry Port Jam. The pecan pie ice cream was fabulous and we fought over the fried peanut butter pies. Can’t get any better than fried PB, seriously. Oh and the coffee was well FREAKING AWESOME. It was strong, had that "kick" I LOVE, smelled amazing and it's the little things that made it the absolute best cup of coffee I have ever had at a resturaunt. I mean who has little sugar cubes that are large and mishapen and wonderful along with a small stainless steel creamer pitcher filled of perfectly sweet steamed milk. Fearing's does. I was in fact in coffee heaven, for real.

Sadly this is the only photo I took and it doesn’t do it justice. I didn’t want to look like a total douche, ha!

Can’t wait to go back.

And I’m so thankful I work for such a fabulous company and people who really go the extra step to make me feel appreciated. Seriously thankful!

Oh and before I forget, the restrooms are unisex and there are no signs, so don’t freak out. Just go in.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Spiral Diner

Today was a vegan lunch adventure...

I normally stick to my usual Uptown fare, but it was a birthday lunch for our very special Bex! Yep, my high maintenance foodie friends convinced me to try the Spiral Diner in Oak Cliff. I have been counting down the days, couldn't wait to try it. I have heard all the rave reviews from them for months.  And so the day came...

First I couldn't commit to a beverage, so I tasted them all multiple times. I settled on my fave Watermelon Cream and Root Beer, finally. Not together of course, and I didn't feel awful about it because it was self serve. And this is no ordinary "coke" as we call it here in Texas. It's OOGAVÉ SODA ON TAP, made with 100% certified organic agave nectar. And after 3-4, I kinda lost count I didn't have the usual headache like I do with normal soda, score!

It was difficult to decide so after memorizing the menu and trying to figure out what all the "substitutes" were I settled on a Patty Melt with a Portobello Patty. Now I'm not sure if they were trying to put me on a diet or what but um, my sammy was small. But delish nonetheless! And the side of pasta with fresh basil was pretty darn good too.

Portobello Patty Melt

Here are the famous nachos I have heard so much about. Erin was so kind to share with me. Again my sammy was small and well you know I can eat, ha! And goodness they were good, even the fake taco meat was good aka TVP. I'm not gonna tell what the abbreviation means cause well it's just not appealing, at all.

Nachos Supremo

And Amy's was quesadilla. Did I mention she shared with me too? Yep, I’m so thankful for my nice friends.

Grilled Portobello Quesadilla

And they have a ton of choices for dessert. I was really eyeing that moist red velvet cake but settled on their seasonal peppermint ice cream. The base of this one was soy milk, now normally I'm not a fan but this had to be the creamiest ice cream I'd ever tasted. It had a very buttery flavor too. Almost like butterscotch and had perfect little bits of candy cane mixed in.
Peppermint Ice Cream
Again with the small portions for yours truly. Bex let me try her Chocolate Mountain Mudslide, she had peppermint ice cream instead of the usual vanilla. And boy the brownie combo was the so super sweet but totally worked.

I had a great time at lunch as usual with my lady friends. I will be back to the Spiral Diner, definitely not on a date with the hubby though,
I'm afraid he prefers that cowboy food.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Classy Cranberry Sauce

Thought I'd share my classy cranberry sauce recipe on this Thanksgiving morning as I procrastinate and make it very last minute for our own family gathering.

I have been making this stuff for about 5 years, maybe longer. It's my father in law's fault, really it is. I was asked to bring cranberry sauce to Thanksgiving. And I was informed the "real" stuff, not canned. Now I grew up with the canned goodness so this was all new to me. I made 3 batches that year and well this is the winner in my book. Thanks to my in-laws for opening my eyes to the "real" stuff, I refuse to eat the canned version now.

It's highly requested for Turkey Day, and so super easy to make.

1 bag of Cranberries
1 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Clove
Sprinkle of All Spice
1 cup Sugar
1 cup High Pulp Orange Juice

Rinse and pick out any yucky cranberries. 
In a medium saucepan dissolve and bring sugar and juice to a boil, add cranberries and spices. 
Turn down heat, boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or so. Cranberries will pop and spit at you, so you are warned. 
The sauce will thicken as it sits, then stick in the fridge to cool completely. Adjust the spices to your liking our family really likes clove, apparently. 
Happy Thanksgiving! Now go stuff your faces and enjoy this awesome day with family and friends!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Diamond In The Rough Photography

My fabulous photographer and cousin Lonnie White, took the photo below. I just love Natalie's carefree expression... Check out his website.

3 dog night

I'm dog sitting for my parents. Jada, is a medium size American dog well she looks more like a pot bellied pig, and she is deathly afraid of rain and thunderstorms. Did I mention it rained all day yesterday and through the night? Oh and sweet Teddy (shih tzu) is my mother's other dog, her baby. I know Jada and Teddy well. They were once my fur babies before my mother so kindly adopted them. And our fur baby, his name is Gus, he's 4 years old and about 115 lbs. He's my baby, HUGE and SCARY with the meanest bark eva and a complete love bug. 

Last night I had the absolute best evening with my girls i.e. The Braid. I intruded on my friends dinner with her family and I got to enjoy my fave jail bird burritos last night cooked and served by one of my favorite people. Also, I got to indulge in my teen obsession, Breaking Dawn Part 1. Granted the book was so much better and I thought the movie was a little lame but still a good see. We even ventured down some back roads since the stupid bridge was closed in the ever continuing construction zone. Anyhow, I was very unfamiliar with the new route, (pronounced root BTW Erin hehehe) did I mention it was raining and dark?  And I couldn't see shit?! Pretty sure that didn't help but you should have heard all the shouts of lock the doors, don't roll down the window, creepy fog, and WTF where are we, with tons of giggling pouring from my "hoe".

We made it home, safe, finally.

That drive was a hoot! We even had a little lesson of the haunted creepy ass history of Lawson Rd. with our non-native Texan in the back LOL

Then I got home.

Come bed time, I have Jada in my guest powder bath, since it has no windows. Again she is deathly afraid of thunderstorms. And it was raining and lightning pretty good last night. And Teddy and Gus were in my room, it was late and they usually settle pretty easily. Well not last night. Of course. Constant licking, collars clanging, bitey face games and nudging the door to go out only to bark and want back in a few minutes later. At this point I had had it and finally drift off to sleep after covering my face with a pillow. 
My Gus in Teddy's Bed, how in the world did he even fit?!
Then I'm awakened by my sweet Natalie climbing in my bed. Wheezing like an old woman! Great! Did I mention I needed to be at the office to meet the construction crew at 9AM? And that I'm off tomorrow? And that I CANNOT miss work today? And I have had NO sleep? I start the treatments and she improves, greatly. Asthma has shown its ugly face again... She has been hospitalized before and had a trip to the ER a few weeks ago. This asthma stuff is serious and it breaks my heart knowing there is nothing I can do but try my best to prevent the attacks. It's usually seasonal and allergy related, peaks in the fall and winter months. If I could kick anybody's ass it would definitely be asthma's!

I stop in the nurses office at school this morning to make sure Natalie has her nebulizer and meds and get her on a schedule for the day. And what do I do? Yep, I started crying like a big baby in the elementary school nurses office. Lack of sleep and worrying about my sweet Natalie and lack of coffee had done me in. Surprised she didn't march me over to the counselors office, I kid. I was a hot mess. I could only apologize and try to explain to her why I was so sleep deprived and emotional. I'm sure she thinks I'm a crazy person. But I don't care, really I don't.

Pretty sure the 3 dogs triggered it this time... Even Lego Leighton was all puffy eyed and snozzly. The two culprits are leaving today, happily.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

size does matter

My dear sweet husband has major size envy right now.

iPad vs. Samsung Galaxy Tablet and well I totally win.

Even my iPhone is way cooler than his Droid, ha! Granted months ago I adored both of his since I had neither. And a love/hate relationship with my stupid crackberry. 

But now that my toys are way cooler I can rub it in until he brings home the next cool gadget. And I'm hoping it's one of those awesome video recorder thingy's, yep that should be next. 

Hope he reads this, hint hint hint!

see. size does matter.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Verdict, please.

Boat or baby is the question. I'm 30, I know gasp. And I was called ma'am tonight at our kiddo's school by a clearly much younger teacher. My oldest son Leighton is about to be 9 and my Natalie will be 7 in February. I feel like I'm completely running out of time to actually be able to keep up with another kiddo. And daycare, my goodness it's insanely expensive and I can't bare the thought of being away from my new baby all day again like the first two. And yes I'm a working mother, always have and unless there are lotto winnings involved always will.

I mean how do you make such a decision anyways? We have been blessed with a boy and girl, can't use the good ol' excuse to keep trying for that boy... I have never thought twice about the first two, granted they were so well planned, not. Yet, I wouldn't change a thing. They are truly what keeps me going in this crazy world I call life.

Even though being an empty nester at the ripe old age of 41 is pretty darn tempting. So is bringing another little person into our lives for pure enjoyment. I mean who doesn't love having all that control and power over their offspring?! Totally kidding, not really but you get the idea.

So, boat or baby?