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!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hallow's Eve

The batty bat Remi had an awesome time in his costume all day yesterday. Luckily, it was cold enough that he could wear the whole get-up. We went to Old Town Spring and TGR exotics for a pumpkin patch in the morning.
Hung out at the house later on. Treat-or-treating was interesting, as half of our street either forgot that it was Halloween or just didn't bother answering the door. Remi didn't care, he was moreinterested in ringing doorbells and trying to get into people's houses when they opened their doors. We set up our chimenea in the driveway and greeted trick-or-treaters there. Callie and fam joined us as well as a few friends and many neighbors. It was a busy but very fun day!
Remiboy and Ponyboy:
I highly recommend a corn table over a sand or water table:
Our only family picture so far this year:
These baby pigs were making the funniest noises:
This costume turned him into a raving lunatic, but I was able to snap a few decent pictures:

My luminaries and pumpkin homage to Snoopy:
Keith's haunted gourd:
Our neighbor's win the prize for most creative, dressing up as the Clockwork Orange goons: