Saturday, September 14, 2013

One Year Post

So I clearly suck at this whole blogging thing. Whenever I think to myself, I should really blog today, a taunting phrase pops into my mind saying 'you make time for the things that are important to you.' I promise, blogging IS important to me. I want to be a better blogger, especially since our church leaders and prophets say that we need to keep journals. So let's try this baby one more time

About a month ago, Scott and I celebrated our one year anniversary. I still can't believe that we have been married for over a year - it went by so fast! Honestly. When people would ask us how long we were married, I got used to saying 'about 3-4 months' and then poof! an entire year pops up! I apologize to anyone I accidentally told during the month of July that we had only been married for three or four months because I'm pretty sure it happened. I just didn't realize how fast the year went by.

So for our anniversary celebration, we decided to hop on a plane a take a trip on over to New Orleans. We took friday off of work because frankly, we didn't want to work on our anniversary - we wanted to play.

When we got to The Big Easy we spend most of Friday walking around French Quarter and my goodness, New Orleans is humid! Which took a jaunt down Bourbon street (which smells so disgusting, by the way) and then headed on over to Jackson Square to visit the St. Louis Cathedral.






Jackson Square was FILLED with artists, musicians, voodoo practitioners, and painted street performers. It was a blast! We spent so much time looking at all of the original artwork attached to the park's fence. Each artist had their own unique style and most had pieces that showcased New Orleans life and culture. I LOVED walking around Jackson Square  because deep down, part of me wishes I studied art and painted more in school. 

The one thing that I wanted to do in New Orleans was go on one of those steam engine river boats with the big paddlewheel on the back - so we found one. It provided a historical tour of the Mississippi River, dinner and live jazz music on board. I was in love. It was such a fun anniversary activity and one that is very memorable.







We only stayed one night in New Orleans, so the next day, we just started our morning by getting beignets for breakfast at the famous Cafe Du Monde and then walking around the French Market. The line for Cafe Du Monde was crazy, but it went by quickly. Those beignets were covered with pounds of powdered sugar and deep fried delicious-ness that you know is probably not the best for you. But man, it tasted amazing! 

There also happened to be the Satchmo Summerfest - a three day outdoor music festival with tons of jazz music and street vendors. We happened upon a jazz group just walking through the French Market playing various songs as they went.




I have a small little desire to try and stick by the Traditional Anniversary Gifts to the best that we can from year to year (which might require a little creativity). For example, the first anniversary gift, the traditional theme is paper. So I got Scott a year subscription to Sports Illustrated and he got me a picture frame and several pictures to decorate my cube at work. We also got a gift for us both to enjoy and remember our New Orleans adventure that sticks to the paper theme.

We got two prints from an artist that goes by the name Shakor. His gallery is right next to Jackson Square and we fell in love with his paintings of the French Quarter when we were walking by. We both loved them so much that we bought two prints. 

We had such a fun time in New Orleans - both of us agree that we would love to go back there. This time I didn't get my life read by a tarot card reader, but maybe next time.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Recipe: Coconut Key Lime Pie Ice Cream


As many of you know, I am allergic to dairy. And we're talking straight up serious allergy - swollen throat, constricted airways...none of this lactose intolerant stuff. I'm hard core that way.

All delicious foods in life have a dairy base: cheese, ice cream, whipped cream, any cream based sauce. I love ice cream and always have. But my throat says otherwise. So sad for Laura. To satisfy my ice cream love, I have explored the world of coconut ice cream and have tried to find/create a great recipe for coconut ice cream. And I think this one's a winner.

You start with a delicious base of coconut and lime - which on it's own tastes fantastic. For a dash of fun flair, I attempted to swirl in ribbons of lime curd, but the final result ended less ribbony and more pockety with bursts of lime curd here and there (which I thought actually thought made it more exciting).

Ingredients

Coconut Lime Ice Cream Base
  • 2 cans full fat unsweetened coconut milk (I prefer the Taste of Thai Organic kind)
  • Juice and zest from 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Key Lime Curd
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 egg, beaten and set aside

Instructions
  1. First focus on the ice cream base. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat on medium heat, slowly stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.


  2. Once dissolved, pour in to a bowl, cover and chill in refrigerator for 4 hours, or until completely chilled. 

  3. Combine sugar, butter, lime juice and zest in a double boiler (or do what I did and set a pyrex bowl inside a sauce pan filled halfway with water)


  4. Slowly stir over medium-high heat until the butter is melts and mixture becomes syrup-like

  5. Mix a tablespoon of the lime syrup into the egg and blend.

  6. Reduce the stove heat to medium and  slowly whisk the egg mixture into the lime syrup

  7. Heat and stir the mixture in double boiler for 20 minutes, or until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

  8. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover, and chill in refrigerator

  9. When the ice cream base is chilled, freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

  10. Once the ice cream is finished, the lime curd should also be chilled. Spoon curd into pastry bag. Use the pastry bag (or ziploc with snipped corner) to pipe ribbons of curd and fold the lime curd into the ice cream.

  11. Scoop ice cream and top with extra lime zest and toasted coconut if desired. Enjoy.

It is so delicious that I literally have to talk myself out of eating the entire batch. It's so flavorful and tropical at the same time, it's the perfect cool treat on a hot summer day.  Try it out and let me know what you think!



Monday, July 8, 2013

Fourth of July part two: Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners

Scott and I love going to baseball games. The sun, the sunflower seeds and roasted peanuts, the cheering and the comebacks--we're both fans. I'll be honest, I am not a big sports enthusiast, but I do get swept in the excitement and the atmosphere when I physically attend a game.

We decided that a tradition we will do our best to uphold over the years is to attend a baseball game on the Fourth of July and end the night watching fireworks. Hopefully this is something that we can keep up even when we have kids. But can you think of a better way to celebrate America than by watching America's favorite pastime? I don't think so.

Well there we were, decked out head to toe in our Rangers gear, which is conveniently red, white, and blue. The Rangers played Seattle that day, crazy huh? I had an internal struggle on who I was really supporting - my home team or my new team. But since I was never really loyal before, I guess it doesn't really matter, especially now that I have a Texas Rangers hat.






The game was great. Couldn't be better. The Rangers and the Mariners battled it for a couple innings. The score was 2-3. In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Rangers scored 3 runs taking the lead. What a great comeback. And then they continued to defend it until the 9th. Such a great game. And if I, a girl who doesn't understand too much about sports, am saying that, it must be true!

The game ended with a fireworks show, which was pretty good. And it was so comfortable sitting in an actual seat then on the cold, wet grass. Scott and I agreed that it was one of the better shows we have seen. Maybe not absolute best, but it was up there.

All around, a great day, a great game, a great holiday. And we're proud to live in this great country.


Fourth of July part one: Dallas Farmers Market

Scott and I luckily (and gratefully!) had the Fourth of July off of work. So we spent the day celebrating America in style. We first started off in style by sleeping in, of course! After which we lazed around and after getting ready for the day, donned in red, white, and blue, we made our way to the Dallas Farmers Market.




While there, we sampled fruit, vegetables, and prepared foods from various local vendors. I was a sucker for the nectarines and peaches. I tried a sample from every vendor that was offering! One of the vendors was selling roasted sweet corn - one of my favorites! And the sweet corn was topped with butter, mayo, and cheese. I know it sounds gross (especially if you're not a mayo fan, like me) but its actually really tasty.

Oh man. I love the market. I love sweet corn. What a great start to a great day off!



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Muddin'

In February, a couple guys in our church started talking about how they've always wanted to complete a Tough Mudder. They spent the past few months training with each other and getting tough. Last weekend was the actual run.

My role in all of this: run the spectator "course" which includes my own set of obstacles mostly made up of dodging camp chairs and visor-clad grandmas. But boy did I run that path. I would take pictures of the boys at one obstacle, then book it so I could meet them at the next. It was exhausting.

In total, I took almost 200 photos and videos of these guys. Check out our Mormon Mudders:


























As you can tell, I was a little hesitant to get close to him. He was caked in mud and I didn't want any on me. He was so exhausted and beat up from the run. A couple hours after the run, the aches and pains started to kick in and he was having a difficult time walking. Right after the race he said that he'd never do another Tough Mudder again. But now that his muscles have healed and he's walking properly, he's thinking about signing up for another one!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Did you buy your tickets?

A few weeks ago we went to a gun show.

That's right. As part of our conversion into Texas culture there are several things we feel we must experience: the Texas State Fair (completed), a good ol' Texas Rodeo, Billy Bob's Texas, etc.

Well Scott got his Texas drivers license, our car is licensed and registered in the state of Texas and we figured it was high time that see for ourselves the true love that Texans have for the second amendment.

Man oh man was I in culture shock - and I've spent plenty of time in foreign countries. I walked in and was just amazed. I'm a girl from a tree-hugging, recycling, very liberal city.  A gun show was definitely foreign waters for me.

Scott had a blast. I'm convinced he's a cowboy at heart - he already has boots! I still have a ways to go before I'm full Texan.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Calgary Flames

Here's a pre-break in post that I was going to write and then of course, I didn't have my laptop anymore.

Scott spent a majority of his growing up years in Canada and loves hockey. He eats, breaths, and sleeps hockey. Me not being a real sports-enthusiast in general, decided I might as well watch it with him and maybe some day I'll learn to enjoy it.

I probably annoy Scott when we're watching games on tv because of all of the questions I ask. What call did the Ref just make? What is 'icing'? Why is fighting acceptable? Why are there only four people out on the ice now? etc...etc...etc.

I can officially say, I am an amateur fan. I know some of the players names, most of the ref calls, and most importantly, when I should cheer and when I should be frustrated. I'm getting pretty good at this whole hockey thing.

When we moved to Dallas, Scott's one request was that we go to a few hockey games now that we lived in a city that had a major league team. We attended the Dallas Stars opener in the beginning of January. The second game he wanted to attend was when the Flames came to Dallas.

Well that was a few weeks ago and of course we attended, dressed all in red.




We had a blast!

Unfortunately our beloved flames lost, but it was so much fun. Such a fun date night! Hockey is something definitely better enjoyed in person. I can keep up watching it on tv, thanks to the sportscasters, but I think I do a much better job in person. Or maybe I could keep up and understand because of all the previous hockey exposure.

Anyway. I'm becoming a more devoted hockey fan and Scott definitely appreciates that.