Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekend recap - and why I was MIA.

Update: If you saw this post in the first hour, you got to see pics of hubs. If not, sorry kids! He shall remain a man of mystery.

Oh man, I just had the most amazing weekend. One of my dearest friends got married in Napa this weekend and hubs and I turned it into a mini-vacation. Whee!

We stopped halfway up to visit hubs 'rents for a couple nights. We had such a fun time visiting with the ILs. I know it sounds like an intro to a joke on Last Comic Standing, but I really love my ILs. They are just great.

Thursday night, hubs and I went over to his childhood friend's home and we had a blast visiting with him, his wife, their adorable 2 year old son and 5 week old baby girl. (I won't post pics of other people's kids. Trust me though, they are adorable!) We all went to the farmers market and brought back tasty veggies to eat for part of our dinner. I was quite impressed with the quality of their market. Very nice!

When it was time to go home to bed, I tried to steal baby S but hubs made me give her back. I couldn't help it. I was mesmerized by her little baby sleepy sighs. Hubs gave me that look...maybe... I will get that puppy I've been wanting for a while after all!

On Friday morning, we got up early in order to get to Napa in time for the wedding weekend festivities. We enjoyed a lovely tour and tasting at Saintsbury with good friends. I had never been to Napa before and couldn't believe how beautiful it was, even with the slightly hazy skies left over from recent fires.

Friday night, we had a super yummy dinner, margaritas, and a lot of laughs with my friends. I stayed friends with three ladies from high school and was so glad we were all there to celebrate. I especially enjoyed the groom's special surprise dessert - a giant Texas cake. Fun times!

Saturday was spent poolside and I now have one lobster-red shin. I swear I applied sunscreen evenly but apparently the wine took over and I just slathered it on willy nilly. A sad lesson to learn, especially for this Whitey Whiterson. (I will not post of picture of the leg, sorry.)

The wedding was Saturday evening and words couldn't express how beautiful it was there in a tiny clearing under the trees overlooking the vineyard. The sun was starting to sink and the ambiance was perfect. When my friend J came down the aisle, there wasn't a dry eye. The ceremony, vows and loving looks were so incredibly genuine, we all knew we were part of something amazing.

The reception was in another beautiful locale, on the deck of a private residence overlooking a vineyard. Again, breathtaking views. But, more amazing than the views, food (delish) and wine (not a drop left) was celebrating with such a wonderful group of people.

Sunday, the group met up again for a sparkling wine tasting and it was the absolute perfect send off. We left with a few purchases, grins, and a buzz - at least I did, hubs was DD.

It could not have been a more perfect weekend and I am so thankful that hubs and I were two of the 22 guests chosen to celebrate with the happy couple. It meant the world to be there to see my friend off into the land of Mrs.

Friday, June 20, 2008


It is officially summer, ya'll. Hurray!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I must agree with Natalie Dee.

It's gonna be a long week, for sure!

natalie dee

Not so yummy in my tummy.

I just ate half a peach yogurt before realizing that it was "best before May 30th."


Monday, June 16, 2008

TWD: Peppermint Pastry

If you came looking for a tasty baked good, I'm afraid you'll have to head over to Tuesdays with Dorie. There are several dozen yummy treats to view there. This week's recipe was chosen by A Consuming Passion. Please head over and show some love.

I've been too busy with work and hubs end of school year activities to get this one done. I'm really bummed but am sure I'll make it sometime in the near future.

Have a great day, ya'll.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Getting so excited for Europe!

So, hubs and I are gearing up for our trip to Europe. After reading Dorie's latest blog entry, I emailed hubs and said that we must go to La Palette while in Paris. I really want to see the place that inspired Dorie to write the recipe from yesterday's twd entry (and I want to eat some yumminess there, too). How cool would that be?

In addition to Paris, we are also going to London and driving from County Cork to Dublin in Ireland. I've never been to Europe. So tell me, what are some must eats while we are there?

Monday, June 9, 2008

TWD - Strawberry Tart

This week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe was chosen by Marie at A Year at Oak Cottage and oh man was this recipe yumtastic. I love fruit, I love cream, I love cookie crusts. I was in heaven.

I was a little worried about my strawberries being a touch tart but I trusted the low sugar option and the sweetness turned out perfectly. My berries really came through for me. Oh, the joys of Southern California life!

The recipe for the crust came together pretty easy but I didn't have a tart pan with a removable bottom so I went for my 9" springform. I thought my crust might be a little thin and I was right. Round one = burnt.

After eating the unburned bottom like a giant shortbread cookie, I went for round two and used my 8" springform, making sure to get the sides nice and thick. This crust baked up perfectly.

Unfortunately, the sides were a bit high, but no one complained about the looks. I used Knotts' Berry Farm strawberry jam and it was a perfect complement. I piled the strawberries extra high and plopped on a giant scoop of just whipped cream. YUMMY!

Side view.

We had surprise company Sunday night and there were some impressed faces when I offered up dessert and served this tasty tart. Once they tasted it, they were REALLY impressed. With minimal preparation and the addition of fresh fruit, I really think this might be my go to summer dessert this year. Thanks Dorie for this delish recipe and thanks to Marie for choosing it.
Head on over to TWD to check out how all the other Dorie-heads fared this week.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Why did I just waste three hours of my precious Saturday watching Crocodile Dundee II?

Seriously people, WTH was I thinking? Ugh.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Check out our cute little welcome mat.

It was a Target special so we'll see how long it lasts, but it was just too darn cute for this Mrs. Monkey to pass up!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I need this...

Isn't it adorable?!?!

I just want to bake a giant cupcake bottom and fill the top with (home made) ice cream like this:

The flavor combinations are endless.
chocolate cake - choc chip ice cream
vanilla cake - strawberry ice cream
lemon cake - vanilla ice cream
peanut butter cake - chocolate ice cream
caramel cake - butter pecan ice cream

I could make it this way for small children:

Item (and pictures) from William Sonoma.

::resisting urge to reach for credit card::

Monday, June 2, 2008

TWD - French Brownies

I'm not quite sure what makes these brownies French. It could be that they are supposed to have rum soaked and flambeed raisins in them. Or it could be that they are super rich or it could just be that Dorie invented them and decided they were French. (They certainly aren't wearing berets!) However, you could tell me that these brownies were Arkansas and I'd still love 'em. (People originally from Texas make fun of Arkansas folk. It's the law, so don't get mad at me!)

I will say, I'm over raisins and subbed dried cherries instead. I also skipped the rum. Well, I didn't skip it but let's just say it didn't end up in the brownies. ;)

All went just as planned. Even my brownies were cracklemania on top, like most everyone else.
The dried cherries were a huge hit. Hubs coworkers said the brownies were "amazing" and the cherries were a "yummy surprise." Though they ate then with out the homemade whipped cream. But, I think the cream added just a little something extra.

Open wide!

Head on over to Tuesdays with Dorie and see how all the other Frenchies fared this week! Thanks to Di for choosing this week. Head over to her blog for the recipe or to show her some love.

Happy Tuesday, ya'll!