Ginger Pepper Berry

I am being very productive today around the house, but I wanted to stop and blog (for the first time in over two weeks!). A week or so ago, we met up with our (Michael and my) good friends Matt and James at The Ginger Man. I haven't seen either one of the guys in a long time, and it was so much fun to hang out. Matt and his girlfriend live south of Dallas, and James just recently moved to Lubbock to get ANOTHER degree. How I long for the days of spending untold amounts of time hanging out! Anyway, the beer and cider were lovely, and I always enjoy their upstairs balcony. Good times!

Last weekend Michael's mom, Martie, and his sister, Amanda, came down to see us and go to the Dallas Arboretum. If you don't recall (those of you that are Dallas-dwellers), the Arboretum always has the Pumpkin Festival in the fall which features the Pumpkin House. It's awesome. There are pumpkins everywhere, and even a house made completely out of pumpkins. Also, there are a few displays of rare gourds (stop now if this is boring you), which are actually quite interesting. My BB didn't have enough space on it for more pictures, so the Pepper Berry Plant (as I like to call it...mainly because I didn't get the name) will have to do. This is a hedge on the outside of the big grassy areas, but it caught my eye. It's some sort of pepper variety, but it looks like a black bush full of cranberries and blueberries. Gorgeous! Then we headed out for lunch at Cafe Lago, one of my favorite cafes in the city. Good times again!
Now I must get back to the productivity! Happy Halloween!


Crafty Gift

For Michael's birthday, I learned a craft.
Quit laughing.
I learned to crochet, and made him a scarf.

Also, there's a pussy in the basket.

Michael's 24th Birthday

Michael had his 24th birthday this past weekend-slash-Monday, and I'd like to share. I will blog about our Friday evening in a bit. I must get a picture after I procure a model...

Saturday night we went out for drinks with Michelle and Corban at Gingerman. It was really busy, and we decided to move on. After drinks at our apartment, we went over to a mutual friend's housewarming party in Carrollton. It was a good time!

Sunday Michael chose his pre-birthday dinner: roasted potato and leek soup, crusty bread and Sprinkles red velvet cake cupcakes. What a menu! He looked through all of my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and decided on the soup. (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-potato-leek-soup-recipe/index.html) It had roasted potatoes, roasted leeks, arugula, creme fraiche, white wine and Gruyere. It was so completely subliminal, I thought it must have had several sticks of butter. But no butter went into the recipe! Also, I made the crispy shallots to go on top -- another simple but incredible outcome. Anyway, I made everyone jealous at work with my leftover soup. And did I relish that jealousy? Of course. I will definitely make it again. And again.

Earlier that day, we picked up his birthday present from my family at Williams-Sonoma, which I will write about soon, and while we were there, we grabbed a Sprinkles cupcake mix. Now, I am not one to endorse cake mixes, for obvious reasons. The icing was amazing, but the cake itself wasn't the best. It was really rather dry, and not intensely-flavored as I had originally thought it would be. They looked very cute, though. Also, the package said it made 12 cupcakes (more than enough for two people, for sure), and the batter amount could easily confuse a home baker into thinking it made 24. Usually, with cupcakes you only fill the wrapper 2/3 or even 1/2 full - you don't want spillage on the tin. There was a TON of batter to be used, but I stuffed it into the wrappers in the hopes they would come out decently. Maybe that contributed to the dryness? Either way, I have come to a final conclusion. We'll be sure to buy them from the actual store next time!

Now for the birthday present. THE birthday present. Michael decided we were in horrendous need of a set of "good knives." (Surely an idea placed in his head by the one-and-only Ina Garten.) So, he asked for the Wustof knives from Williams-Sonoma, and now they sit in the kitchen. I feel so chefy! Except for they're his, and I am only privileged with the use one of the knives under supervision. ;) I have a tendency to slice through my fingers with super sharp knives.
Finally, Monday was Michael's actual birthday, which means even more celebrating. I made him a nice medium rare steak, roasted root vegetables, roasted Parmesan and garlic broccoli, and crusty bread. Then, more birthday red velvet cake cupcakes. It was a wonderful birthday weekend according to the old man!



It will be 85 degrees today in Dallas, Texas.
It will be 64 degrees in Boston, Massachusetts.

It's October. Why do I live here?


October is Here!

This weekend has been a good one, and it's not over! We made steak last night, and paired it with a Merlot and heirloom tomatoes. Simple, but filling and exactly what we wanted. Then, today we've made some plans, went grocery shopping, and relaxed at the apartment. Tomorrow my parents are hosting a birthday celebration for Michael at their house in Sherman. My mom is making chicken fried steak, green beans, yeast rolls, and a Bride's cake. I'm bringing smashed garlic-Parmesan potatoes and cards. We haven't been to Sherman for more than a month now, so that will be nice.

I went on an interview for an internship last Friday, and I was hoping to hear from them by the middle of next week. It turns out that they aren't going to make a decision until the end of November! Ugh. I'm a little put-off, but I'll just carry on with other avenues. We'll see what happens around Thanksgiving.

Presently, there is a Brenden Fraser movie marathon on HBO. I never knew he was in so many action movies. Anyway, we caught most of Journey to the Center of the Earth, and it wasn't bad. I never read the book, so I didn't catch most of the references to the text. Did anyone read it? I think I might throw it on my never-ending to-read list. There's no more room on my bookshelves at home!

On another note, I bought my first computer game...ever. Don't laugh. I haven't ever been into the computer or video game thing, so this will be interesting. I think it's a kids game, but it seems like a good time to me: