Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Texas Road Trip

The time has finally arrived, and believe me,
not minute too soon!
Hitting that open road once again...with you know who
Not going to far this time...just to Austin, TX.

Country Living Magazine Fair

Three fabulous days filled with shopping, seminars
and catching up with friends.
Over 150 vendors...not to mention awesome Tex/Mex food...
Susie and I are meeting up with other blog friends...
Are you going to be there?
We'd love to meet you...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Whata Man

whatta man ... whatta man...
a little music with my post today

Whatt a Man...

25 years and he still sends me flowers...
whatta man...
He told the florist.."Not to many roses, she has plenty in the yard."
It was gorgeous...looked like something you would see in a hotel lobby.

whatta man...
He surprised me by taking off of work early, and driving us
to New Orleans for lunch.

whatta man...
Lunch at Luke (a John Besh restaurant). 
I just love John Besh and have been longing to
try one of his restaurants.
Seafood Gumbo and warm french bread
Stewed Lamb with spring vegetables

whatta man...
Walking off lunch on the streets with all the antique shops.
Did I mention that my man treats me really really well?
whatta man...
He offered to by me a new wedding ring in  one of the antique shops...but, I said "No" 
crazy huh?
  but I told him let's use that money on my little cottage that we are building.

whatta man...
Few drinks while listening to a little blues on the patio at

What a great place when the streets get to be over whelming?
On every street in the French Quarter their are wonderful places with patios. If you stop and the music is not quite what you had in mind, slip over another street or two and you will be sure to find a place you want to sit and let your heart sing.

whatta daughter...
Yup when we got home that night our daughter had a wonderful dessert waiting. 

What a wonderful day to celebrate 25 years of life together...
What can I say, " Whatta Man ~ A Mighty Good Man"

(Note   The day happened so fast...I did not get a chance to grab my camera, so I to use my cell phone)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mini Pot Jambalaya 101


In  Crawfish 101 you learned where crawfish come from and how to cook them,
Today let me teach you a little something about 
 Mini Pot Jambalaya.

Its only right that I share what my hometown of Gonzales,Louisiana  is famous for,
Click above to read more about the festival.

Jambalaya, pronounced Jum-buh-lie-uh,  is a Cajun/Creole dish that is made from a mixture of meats, rice and seasoning.  On any given weekend it is not hard to find a church or neighborhood party cooking up this concoction.
Jambalaya is usually cooked in much larger black iron pots, but this weekend my family decided try out cooking in the mini pots. 

Ok...I completely understand that meat and rice does not sound like that big a deal.
 I'm gonna let you in on a secret from the South.
 The Southern men can usually cook better than the women and they take it very seriously! 
Many cooking secrets are passed down from a paw paw to father then to the son.
 The big deal is not really the food, its all about the prep work and being with family and friends while it cooks and boy did we pass a good time this weekend! 

Camo man brought everyone a mini pot and stand. They are available at most local grocery or hardware stores.  Once you get your little pot, it must be cured or "blackened".
One of our friends let us borrow his little stands that hold the fire. This way the fire is not directly on the ground.

 A closer look at the mini pot and stand.

We gathered little branches.  We had to make sure that we had enough wood to keep  fire going.

Another friend donated scraps of wood from his cabinet shop. 
I believe these are oak.

Everyone had a little bowl of pork and green onion sausage. 

Onions, green onions and bell pepper.

Seasons...everything we had in the cabinet. 
Everyone just added what they wanted.

  These mini pots only take one cup of rice.

Here Britt is getting prepped for her fire.

 They have the fire going.
 (This is not an activity for unsupervised children or men who have been drinking all day)
They  added a little grease to the pot.  When it was hot they added the pork and after a minute or two the sausage.  They cooked it until it was nice and browned.

As the meat fries they would spoon out the grease and pour it on the fire to keep it going.
(We are talking a SMALL amount of grease at a time. 
I can assure you, no one lost their eyebrows .)

 Keep adding wood to keep the fire hot.

Everyone was stirring their little mini pots...

 When the meat is all browned, they added
 onions, green onions and bell pepper.
(My picky child did not add any "green stuff" to his
 Guess what ~ that is fine. 
That's why it's so fun for everyone to have their very own pot)

 Brown the onions down.

Add in one water bottle of water...bring to a boil...maintain the heat...add seasoning at this point.
Then add one cup of rice. 

Don't you love that fancy smancy tool they used to take
the lid on and off?
Cover the pot and remove all the wood from under it ....
Just the coals and  heat of the pot will cook the rice.

I know rice with meat does not sound that great...
but with the added seasonings...YUM

 OK...Like we say here, either someone was starvin
or it was really good!

Could not have a post of the weekend without sharing what Max was doing while we were cooking.
He sat there patiently waiting for someone to take him for a ride.

Is there a special dish that all your family loves to get together and help make?  Do share.

Join me today over at Three Mango Seeds for a really great linky party.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The $555.75 Cupcake


You see them everywhere..
Who knew when I was a young mom whipping up cupcakes that one day there would  be little shops that just sell cupcakes?

Dang another one of those missed Oprah 'AH HA' moments
WHY OH WHY didn't I think of that? 

This morning while checking my emails my favorite store in the whole mall ,
 Williams Sonoma sent me an invite to look around there Internet Cupcake Shop. 
(Ok I'm sure most of you received one, but can a girl feel special if only for a moment.)

While still laying in bed drinking my second cup of coffee,
 (SHH..that's my nasty little secret to hitting the floor running in the morning. Hubby brings me coffee in bed. LOL)
I decided to take up their invite and look at their little shop.

I got an idea.... my daughter is getting ready to buy a house.
What better gift than to get her what she needs to make her own fabulous cupcakes...

Anyway... I started adding up the basic things in their shop that she would need to be a successful cupcake princess.
Eyes are open and it ain't the coffee...

To start she needs the mix    14.95
No need to add I'll have you a total at the end of this post...

The mixer... Blue, my favorite color...
Ok, you caught me,  the mixer would be for me and I would give her my white one. I always wanted a blue one. LOL

The pan...yes if you have never made cupcakes before, you HAVE to have one of these.


Silicups...Honestly never used these before, due to the fact I make far less cupcakes now and can not justify the cost.
(paper ones are about $2.00)
I am sure she has thousands of cupcakes in her future, so might be worth it for her to use those.

Cooling rack..ok this is really not necessary, but heck if you are going to look like a successful cupcake princess you might as well throw one in the cart.
Beside she will need one, every southern girl makes peite fours. 

 Everyone wants their creations to be as pretty as the picture.
 She will have to show them off!  This stand to highlight the little beauties is only

 $555.75...this does not include tax.. or the bowls, spoons, or heck I forgot the sprinkles and everyone know a cupcake is not a cupcake without the colorful sprinkles...

The local cupcake shop has a dozen for $34.00.
She could get 16.3235 dozen for $555.00.

Will she be making cupcakes in her new house you ask?
Sure...I will do what any wonderful mom will do,
 offer to loan her all my stuff. 
 But knowing her like I do, she will just come to my house, use my stuff and leave the mess.  
 But I would not have it any other way!

 Don't worry William Sonoma, I still want that BLUE MIXER!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Antipasto Kabobs

Antipasto Kabobs

With just a few simple ingredients you can
have a fabulous appetizer.

1 9 oz package of Three Cheese Tortellini ,(I used Buitoni )cooked to package directions

 Calamata Black Olives (pitted)

Grape Tomatoes

 Mozzarella balls

 Salami, cut in half


1 cup Paul Newman Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

(Of course you can anything you like to these,
ex. green olives or different cheese.)

Place the cooked tortellini in a bowl or large freezer bag. Pour the salad dressing over the top and marinade in the fridge for a few hours.
Drain the pasta.
Place one of each item onto the skewer.
Can be made a few hours in advance.

Just cover tightly and place in the ice box.

So easy...the hardest part is boiling the tortellini.


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