Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmastime has come and gone!

And these are really the only good pictures we took! We are horrible at taking pictures when it warrants it, but give me a lazy afternoon where nothing is going on, and I can filled up my camera! Anyway, we had a lovely Christmas morning! Remington did not want ANYTHING to do with opening gifts, so Keith and I took turns open his gifts. Only then was he willing to get involved...He got a set of kids bagpipes from Keith, a keyboard, Mr. Potato Head, a transportation puzzle, a plethora of stuffed animals, big toddler blocks and more! The grandmas made sure he had some awesome stuff too! Thank you to everyone that made our Christmas special, and we wish we could have spent it with all of you!
Christmas Eve was spent with the Marshall Piper family and Callie family and included a prime rib, family gift exchange, and Remi running in circles and slamming doors! Christmas night was a little more low-key with a simple dinner of Keith's fettuccine alfredo, my homemade bread sticks, peas and shrimp. We played with our new gifts and watched the Chinese station on TV (Remi's choice) It's the first time I've ever seen a zit popped on a commercial! Wow!
Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bathtime Woes

How is this range of emotions possible in such a short amount of time? No more than 20 seconds!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hello, My Delicious Lovelies

First attempt at gingerbread men was quite a success, evidenced by the fact that Remi and I ate several before willing to give them away to neighbors. Learned two things: 1. molasses stinks to high heaven and 2. I love premade decorator icing.

Friday, December 18, 2009


A different kind of bird(brain) has been roasting around here. We've had some shockingly cold weather for these parts, and have loved turning on the fireplace these past few nights. The dogs would sit in the fire if they could and since it doesn't put out much heat, they almost do just that. I wish it were cold more often.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Dinner

Keith's annual work dinner went off without a hitch (with the exception of a love-less yet tasty apple pie.) Two days of cooking, which included a Turducken, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with a streusel topping, Lion House dinner rolls, peas with mushrooms, Jezebel sauce, clam dip, shrimp cocktail, Rolo turtles, New York cheesecake with blueberry sauce, apple pie, and cranberry punch. Keith did most of the cooking, while I cleaned, tended to Remi, and decorated. Everything was SO good and I'm glad I still have 1/4 cheesecake all to myself!

The table. I didn't use a holiday-themed table cloth because I found this one on clearance at TJ Maxx. It screams me, so I couldn't pass it up.
This Christmas tree was $0.99 at Goodwill and the big bells were about $1 each.
Our appetizer and dessert table:
Authentic New York CHEESECAKE
Keith's Shrimp Cocktail. He prepared the shrimp in a spicy boil. They were the first thing to go:

Recipe links for anyone interested:
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Lion House Dinner Rolls
Jezebel Sauce
Clam Dip
Shrimp Cocktail
Rolo Turtles
New York Cheesecake
Blueberry Sauce
100-year old pie crust
Apple Pie

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

He loves Mama's Shoes

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Murder Most Fowl

Fowl...get it? He He...Here's my darling sweet husband going through the annual ritual of boning a chicken, a duck and turkey in order to make his world famous Turducken (A chicken in a duck in a turkey, with layers of spicy sausage stuffing.) People come from far and wide to enjoy this solid slab of meat, and tomorrow will be no exception. Julie in Julie and Julia thought the prospect of boning a duck was daunting, but Keith has it down to such a science that he can bone three birds in a little over 90 minutes. However, he does admit the duck is the most difficult because of it's anatomy. The duck has an odd double rib cage that can make things a bit tricky.
If anyone is interested in UNDERTAKING (pun) this feast of feasts, here is a link to Recipezaar: Turducken

This will make for the happiest of holidays for the lone vegetarian in the house!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa's Farm

Just down the road, the school's FFA hosted Santa's Farm last night. The free event had a live nativity, free hot chocolate and cookies, and farm animals galore. First we went through to see the cows, followed by pigs, turkeys, sheep and goats. Almost every pen was decorated for Christmas, some of the animals even wore hats and strings of lights. Remi's favorite seemed to be the turkeys, simply because they made cute noises and paid him the most attention. But the main event: Santa Claus! I have never seen this kid run towards anyone so fast in my life! He would have stayed on that guy's lap for the whole night given the choice. What a fun way to spend a Friday night as a little family.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Remi Musings...

He loves to fake laugh. When I play this video back to him he imitates himself. I love it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

What Remi thinks of all this nonsense:

Snow in Houston!

35th time in 100 years. Take that, global warming!
Remi is worried about all the white stuff falling around outside, but he really likes to yell at it.
The weathermen here are beside themselves with's pretty cute. I don't like this cold weather but at least it will finally kill the mosquitos. When I was harvesting the last of our basil last night, there was a pesty one flying around my head and it was 45 degrees outside.
So peaceful and quiet. Simply beautiful.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

O Tannenbaum

A quick shot of this year's tree. Pre-lit tree, vintage style ornaments, and gold ribbon adorning the top. Remi's fascinated and is showing an incredible amount of restraint given his age. He hasn't touched the wrapped gifts and won't touch the lights because he is afraid of things that are hot. Glad we put that healthy fear in him :) Here's to the beginning of a great holiday season!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh, the sugary goodness!

It has been the week of pies!
Callie made a marvelous pumpkin pudding pie with honeyed pecans. I made an eggnog pumpkin pie. Both were for Thanksgiving:
Keith wanted to contribute to Roger's birthday celebration so he made a spectacular sweet potato pie:
The highlight of the week. Keith decides to make classic apple pie with homemade crust. Eaten ala mode, of course!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kemah Boardwalk

Remi and I joined Callie's family for a wonderful and "amusing" afternoon at the Kemah boardwalk. Remi loved the rides on the company. Here's just a little sampling of the day...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Puppy Cupcakes

Little preview of Ryan's birthday puppy cupcakes...
Made with an egg-less cupcake recipe and topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting.
Here are the recipes if you are interested!

Mom's Chocolate Cupcakes
* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/3 cup cocoa powder
* 1/2 cup oil
* 1 cup water
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon vinegar

1. Mix all ingredients together until moist and well blended.
2. Put in cupcake cups and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F.
3. Frost with your favorite icing.
4. To make a layer cake, double the recipes and put in 2 round cake pans.
5. Increase baking time to about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (From Sprinkles Cupcakes)
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/8 teaspoon salt

1. In a bowl combine butter, sugar and salt. Beat till blended.
2. Add the milk and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Texas Renaissance Festival

We were lucky enough to snag a couple of free tickets for Renfest from Callie so Keith and I packed up the Toes and The Twins (my nieces, not something dirty) this weekend. We drove an hour through Conroe and a cool little country town called Montgomery. I was expecting a dusty field and some crafters selling their wares from white plastic tents. To my surprise, it was a well-organized, well-staffed extravaganza. All of the buildings are permanent structures and there are shops, eateries, amphitheaters and more over a huge expanse of land.

There was jousting, Shakespearean players, elephant rides, medieval games and contests, people of all shapes and sizes dressed to the nines, and even the occasional ninja! (?) Reminded me of one great big LARP, and gave a lot of truth to the movie Role Models. It was very entertaining, a cultural experience to say the least. I am just not nerdy enough to have fully enjoyed all of the possibilities that Renfest has to offer...
The Birds of Prey demonstration featured beautiful birds AND my favorite two owls!
Remington loved the goats the size of Baxter. He especially loved the snoring pigs.
The joust was a little anti-climactic but still fun.
Keith taught the girls to use a bow and arrow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Boy things

He likes to play on the floor and play with unopened post-its...
New obsession is feeding the dogs their dinner morsel by tasty morsel.

Friday, November 6, 2009

What we having been EATING!

The cold weather always inspires me to make new and savory dishes. Here are a few gems we have been consuming. Obviously the shrimp was for Keith, and the tofu is generally for me. And yes, I photograph nearly everything I eat, in order to contribute to my reason for living: Recipezaar!
Emeril's Shrimp and Pasta:
Apple N Flax muffins:
Vegetable Stir-Fry with Tofu:

Remi has been enjoying his Lovely Lentils:
My mom's simple granola:
Baked peanut butter tofu:
Cashew Fried Rice (really yummy!)
And one of my favorites, Spicy African Peanut Soup with Chickpeas. Bizarre, but divine!