31 December 2016

Dishes to Cook (more of) in 2017

  • Clam Chowder
  • Oyster Stew (Dad's recipe)
  • PW's Asian Noodle Salad - this is ALWAYS a hit at my house, but I want to add in bok choy and skip the pasta. I have a feeling it will be perfect!
Asian Salad
It is!!!

18 December 2016

Miso Hungry!

The other day I listened to some food porn on NPR, and the ladies were discussing treats for adults. Treats with umami so I immediately started paying attention. I like miso soup just like most people, but I hadn't thought of adding miso to my baking. But I'm open minded so I purchased some aka (red) miso and some shiro (light yellow) miso.

Miso Hungry
Have to make some miso mayo soon!

23 November 2016

Napa is my Happy Place (Long Recap)

I recently went back to Napa for a work trip. I left home a little before 5am and 2 flights and a short rainy drive later, rolled into Napa County at exactly noon.

Aw Yeah!

15 November 2016

Party Girl

Someone in our household recently turned 8!

Candle Blower
Look at her expertly holding her jello shot while blowing out her candle!

10 November 2016

Food Things to Make

Parking these here for when I have a free cooking moment this fall and winter:


S'mores Fudge Bars

Greek Salad - I would like to have a salad or two in the fridge at all times for lunches and snacks. This looks like a nice go-to.

Mimosa Sangria

Chick-Fil-A Sauce

Slow-Roasted Beef Ribs - what hooked me with this recipe was how Martha served the ribs, with green olives and fresly grated horseradish !!

Irish Soda Farl

Ullster Fry

05 November 2016

Skillet Wonders

Recently, I listened to an episode of The Splendid Table featuring baking with cast iron. Besides corn bread, I had never baked anything in my cast iron skillet, but I was more than inspired. And on a recent camp out, we made Dutch Oven cobblers, so the idea has been swirling around in my head.

The first thing I baked this past week in my cast iron skillet was meatloaf. I preheated the pan beforehand so that the meat mixture sizzled and seared when I was putting it into the skillet, and it baked up in half the time of a normal meatloaf. It turned out so much better than normal, although normal is pretty good.

Skillet Meatloaf - Perfect!
We ate on this mammoth loaf for two nights! #success

02 November 2016

Winemaker Dinner with Friends

18 months ago, Scott and I had the honor of dining with my friend Gail and her man, Nils, who is considered the "King of Cab", at the Saddleback Wine Cellars Dinner they hosted in Yukon. I was glad to partake in that lovely dinner punctuated by even lovelier wines and I had hoped they'd host a dinner in Norman sometime soon. Last night they did!

Before the Vino
Plus One

26 October 2016

Happy Campers

This past weekend we held a family camp out at my Dad's lake property for David's Boy Scout troop.  I wasn't looking forward to it because we have so many things going on right now, but it turned out to be a really nice time. The weather was perfect for camping!

3-Legged Race

Butterfly or Frog or Both?

16 October 2016

Spooked Up Porch



Jackin' Around on the Porch

Starry Eyed

We harvested the remaining watermelon a couple of days ago when the temperatures dropped because we didn't want to gamble with that end of summer sweetness.

It's HUGE!

10 October 2016

Let it Rip!

Someone recently turned 9 and requested a "Beyblade" birthday party. I thought we were past Beyblades a few years ago, but David was set on this theme for his party. His grandparents were cool enough to get him some Beyblade tops because his tops and arena were long gone, but we still needed an arena. And we did not have much time to create one.

Building the Arena

Scott got right to transforming a large tabletop into an arena.

02 October 2016

Concrete Thinking

We finally got around to working with concrete and those lovely Jack o' Lantern plastic pails.

Check out the end products!

29 September 2016

Sweet Baby (Almost)

I went to check on the watermelon tonight and one of the vines had been severed. ;.( By an obnoxious squirrel or a kiddo, we may never know. The watermelon itself looked plenty ripe but the tendril closest to the stem was still nice and green, so I think it was too early to harvest. With the vine cut, we had no choice but to find out if it was edible at this point. Look at how HUGE it is for being a preemie!

Moon and Stars Watermelon
Sour Cream for Reference - 5 lb tub!

28 September 2016

16 September 2016

Impotent Mystics

Today after work I finally finished Atlas, Shrugged right after I pulled into my driveway. Blessed closure and a nice way to start the weekend!  

14 September 2016

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Somebody Loves Me
Scott found these at Walgreens yesterday!!!
I should have enough concrete (60 lbs) to make a concrete jack o' lantern, a jack o' lantern planter,  cement brains (Writer's Block?),  a small garden orb and 2 heart stepping stones.  I can't wait!

10 September 2016

Garden Grows

One of our watermelons looks like it might be under attack (or maybe was under attack by a chicken maybe?) and seems to not be growing. It doesn't feel as full or solid as the other two either.

Not Looking Good
Not Thriving

09 September 2016

On prépare la citrouille?

Q: Why don't I have any of these in my basement?
A: Because we switched to the reusable BAGS 6 years ago! I still have THOSE in the basement.
Aubri and I searched at Atwoods, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Michaels and Target for the classic jack o' lantern treat buckets to no avail.  I then went to 3 thrift stores ISO the classic pail with no luck! There were every manner of treat bucket out there, but none shaped like a jack-o-lantern. They were all shaped like buckets! Not very imaginative. I asked a worker at Target if they had any and she said they hadn't put them out yet... Really? With all of the other Halloween stuff?

I found some cheap ones online, but I don't want to have to wait to get them.  Searching around for other ideas, I came across this milk jug homemade bucket idea.  Maybe I could use items we have on hand (foam triangle adhered to the sides and bottom for drain hole) to make a jack-o-lantern planter? I don't know, I'm kinda stuck on the idea of the jack o'lantern. 

05 September 2016

Working the Wood

Recently I was inspired by a wood project for the Fall.

Before I went in search of supplies for another pumpkin project,  I drew a crude pumpkin on plywood using an old copper pipe from the basement as a guide (the stem), then Scott cut out the pattern, and then the scrap wood against the pattern and basically everything else to make the pumpkin.


04 September 2016


So that unfinished, but not quite blank canvas above the bar got finished today. Recall last year when I was trying to get motivated to complete the painting using collaboration. That didn't happen because I have trust issues and with some folks that attend our gatherings, who knows what would end up on the canvas?

02 September 2016

Heavy Metal and Wood

It's almost Pumpkin Season and time to spook up the porch. I found a concrete project that will satiate my urge to work with concrete for a little while.

Look at how cool this concrete jack-o-lantern is!!!

01 September 2016

Moon and Stars

So I have been checking on the watermelons daily and they are growing so fast!

Sweet Watermelons
They are easier to spot now...
They are all about the size of a football now.

28 August 2016


We threw some old watermelon seeds into the raised bed garden a few weeks ago - I think they were the yellow watermelon variety - and soon we had a monster vine growing onto the rocks on the East side of the pool.

Sweet Watermelon
Pretty leaves on a pretty vine.

27 August 2016


Back in mid-May, my beautiful cilantro bolted.

Bolted Cilantro
Still smelled so good!

20 August 2016

Playing Catch Up

Last night I finally finished creating our 2014 slideshow. I almost punted doing it, but I really do enjoy reflecting on the year and I think it's important. It's a pain sorting through a whole year of photos, then editing them and the transitions for maximum viewing pleasure, and then adding in the music, but I am always happy with the final product. #laboroflove

Next up, 2015. I hope to be done with that one before I need to get started on 2016.

P.S. My kids are so photogenic! Love to see how much they've grown through the years.

14 August 2016


I probably mentioned this before, but I am slogging my way through Atlas, Shrugged this summer. 50 freakin' CDs! I know, it's not like I'm wearing my eyes out reading it or something, but OMG! My normal audio books are in the 2-10 disc range normally. I finished up CD 35 a couple of weeks ago, but the next CDs weren't quite available yet. For a while I was distracted with my reunion and things, but after things quieted down last week, I felt I was having withdrawals of listening to Scott Brick reading to me. I was very happy to check the last set of these CDs out from the library this past weekend so I can try to finish this book by the end of the month.

13 August 2016

Comforting Food

So last night Aubri and I headed over to the best place in Norman to get special cheeses and delights - Forward Foods - and proceeded to pick out delicious items to nosh during our Girls Night In. We wanted to get some good soda and Horseradish Cheddar (which they sadly didn't have) so we had to drop by the house to put away the goods and head to the East side Homeland. Emi joined us for this leg of the trip and promptly shanghai'd our night of delicate delight noshing and instead led us down the "Cheeseburger and Ice Cream" road. We happily followed her down this road as we were starving by this point.  But hey, no regrets!

While "Burger Night" was a very successful endeavor, we still had our assortment of cheeses and smoked pepperoni on hand to enjoy. And truffle salt, but that is for another time. And we'd been to Walmart getting school supplies and suffered through the self checkout lane. #firstworldproblems We needed something a little comforting to make things right in the world again.

Smoked Delights

12 August 2016

July Recap - Part 3 (Reuniting and It Feels So Good)

My 30 year high school reunion took place at the end of July and what a crazy weekend that was! I was caught between the excitement of seeing old friends and the reality that I hadn’t quite gotten into the shape I was planning on when the reunion weekend started. I decided to chill, not to worry, because we are all just humans, right? The planning committee met up a few times the week before the reunion to make decorations, update the cool sign we got for the 20 and determine award categories and prizes. Those were fun meetings!

Working on Centerpieces and Memorial Tree

09 August 2016

July Recap - Part 2 (Speakeasy and Boca)

We also got some good eats while on vacation. Whether it was home with my mom, or at my brother-in-law's new restaurant, or at a cool speakeasy in Tampa. We were a bit spoiled.

I made shrimp and grits at my mom's house because someone put a bug in my ear about it...

Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and Grits (and Nolita Pinot Grigio which was just eh)

06 August 2016


Zucchini Noodles with Meat/Mushroom Sauce

Ok, so the zucchini noodles weren't spiralized - I don't have a spiralizer - but they were good. I used a box grater to make the noodles and then I cooked them in olive oil for a minute or two. Then I added them to the sauce (You like-a the sauce-a?). The tomato sauce was flavored with ground beef, portabello mushrooms, garlic, thyme, oregano and basil.

Even my big, baby girl liked this zucchini dish.

Tell Us What You Really Think
#6yearsago #notsomuch #notafanofthez

02 August 2016

July Recap (It's Coming!)

What. A. Month. I am still trying to remember it all and do it justice with my recaps.

We started off by driving down to Florida in our small commuter car. All 5 of us. Yep, we were as close as a family could be, even closer than when we drove down last summer because the kids are growing like weeds. We should probably have a t-shirt or something for the surviving that trip.


Speaking of t-shirts, I probably need one for making it to/through my 30. Year. Reunion! We ended the month with that.

More to follow soon...

26 June 2016

Photo Op

Yesterday a childhood friend of mine took me and my sister-in-law for a ride up high over Norman.

Up and Away

11 June 2016


Lamb Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce and Gorgonzola:

Lamb Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce and Gorgonzola
Meatball House Meatballs
Lamb and Buffalo Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce and Gorgonzola
My recreation at home

Mine was spot on with the taste buds but I made the mushrooms a bit chunkier. Yum!

17 May 2016


On a normal morning I will have coffee and eggs for breakfast or an almond milk shake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream protein powder.  When I take the time to eats eggs, my hunger is satisfied until lunch. When I have a shake as a quick "meal", I am hungry before lunch. I am not complaining, because the shake is better than no breakfast, or the McD's drive-thru, but I do not like cheating myself out of the most important meal of the day.  In preparation of another busy morning, I made some Overnight Oats . This is nothing new. The oats definitely keep my stomach from growling too soon.

Overnight Groats
I like to warm this up a little before I eat it...

Urban Farm Girl

My compost garden looked pretty impressive until you looked closer and see that the healthiest plants growing in there were Hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium), Black medic (Medicago), also called trefoil, black clover or hop clover, polk weed, johnson grass, etc...

Compost Garden?
Before the Weeding

16 May 2016

Derby Party Food and Decoration

Back in April, we gathered and froze rosebuds to serve with the mimosa sangria (then promptly did not use them at the party). I also ordered the mint julep cups which we did use. Those were souvenir cups for the guests.

Rose Ice
Halfway through the Rose Ice Block Formation

15 May 2016

Derby Day Recap

Last weekend we held our 2nd annual Kentucky Derby party, this time dubbed the "Get Down and Derby" party and it was such a good time! I hope next year is even bigger and better.

Happy Derby Party
Official Mint Julep Cups

25 April 2016

Working with Wood

Reconfigured Pallets

Stained Pallets

Horse and Alf, Apparently
Horse and Alf Profiles, Apparently