Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Food


I slept late, late, late.

Recovering from my short stint at Chuck E. Cheese with water Great Wolf Lodge.


The food there ...

I just cannot begin to tell you how much I wished I'd brought a cooler full of food.

The culinary highlight of the trip was me finding a fruit (fruit!) cup at the pool snack counter.

I'm pretty sure it was canned, but it tasted like fruit and that was enough for me.


I was craving a bowl of these beans the whole time, y'all.





Recipe from this book:

Have you seen this book around?

I've had it on my Amazon wishlist forever and finally decided to buy it when a friend of mine said she got it and loved it.

I love, love, love it too.

Wonderful, easy recipes with lots of stories.

Oh, I love the stories cookbooks.

Like Smitten Kitchen.  

(What is it with these adorable Jewish girls and their adorable cookbooks?)

(Deb Perelman + Alana Chernila =  MY kinda girls)

That cookbook I read like a novel.  Front to back in one sitting.

Same with this one.  

Adorable pictures of her and her family to accompany the stories behind the recipes.

 One of those cookbooks that make you feel like you're right there in the kitchen with the cook. 

Hell, it's onne of those cookbooks that make you feel like you might actually cook.

Sweet. Sweet.

My dogeared pages:

Homemade granola
Toaster Pastries (aka Pop-Tarts!)
Cranberry sauce
Veggie burgers
Chicken nuggets and fish sticks (for the boys)
Homemade hamburger buns (still have not found a recipe to pass the Finnigan test)
The sandwich cookie (aka Oreos!)
Homemade mustard (her recipe looks really good)

And so on.

Beans.  Right.

So, I'd never seen a recipe for cooking beans in the oven, other than those baked beans things which none of us like for some reason.

I suppose this is kinda like crock-pot beans if you think about it, but I did not think about it.  

I just get kind of excited anytime I can whip out the dutch oven and cook something low and slow.

Makes me feel all farmy and such.

I really do love pretending to be farmy.

That's my new blog: Pretend Farm

OK, so I'll post the beans recipe here and hopefully I can add this book to my Amazon bookstore and you can buy it via that so I'll make $.01.

Every cent counts, right?

I really do think you'll love this cookbook and I know you'll love these beans.  

Apparently the low and slow method is what keeps the beans from breaking down so much, but still getting you/me that creamy, thick broth that is so integral to a great pot of beans.

I used leftover vegetable broth to cook mine and threw in some cloves of garlic, fyi.


BEANS (Makes 6-8 cups cooked beans)

1.  Preheat oven to 250
2.  Rinse the beans and  put them in a large, oven-safe pot.  Cover the beans with water to within 4 inches of the top.  You want at least three times as much water in there as beans.
3.  Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
4.  Cover, move the pot into the oven, and cook for 3-6 hours or overnight, checking after a few hours to monitor their progress, if possible.  Don't cook longer than 8 hours - otherwise beans will break down and will be more of a soup.
(Or, like me, you can put them in the oven then promptly forget that you did and go off for a day of merriment.  When you come home frantic because you have no idea what you're making for dinner you will be semi-shocked, but ultimately delighted, that your entire house smells of beans and there is a pot of hot food ready to eat.)

Ta da.


Perfect beans.

And I know I promised you a second recipe, but that's not gonna happen.  It's almost 10am and I'm just getting this out.

La, la, la.

Happy Weekending!!!

Watch out for canned fruit cups!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weekending Late (again)


Total slacker.

Guilty as charged.

I'm regaling you with lots o' photos today because I'm feeling mute-ish (miracle).

We had such a fun-filled, busy weekend and we're leaving tomorrow morning for a post-birthday trip so this is all I can manage.

I'll see you back here on Fridee with two recipes for Friday Food.

I just have to add here that Jackdaddy built Finnigan the most insanely great zipline this weekend.  It goes across the yard with final landing on the trampoline. 

Utter shitbombness.

PS  I wanna send out a hearty, giddy, delighted  WELCOME to my new "sister" Sadie.  My mama went to the shelter yesterday and came home with a little girl dog!!!!  Sadie ... isn't that the sweetest name ever?  I can't wait to meet her!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013


Just Born.







(with the famous doughnut cake)


Nothing, but nothing has been or will ever be as astounding as having this child be born to me.

Every single day, bar none, I thank my lucky stars that I got to have a baby and that this is the one I got.



The most perfect human to ever grace the face of this beautiful planet and he's mine, all mine.

The cake is baking, the scavenger hunt is all set, waffles (his favorite) are on the way and we are all giddy with delight.

For his birthday he chose to go see Spamalot with his Daddy and his bestie.

Spamalot, of all things.

Happy Birthday to my little bear.

I hope 9 is the best year yet!

PS The birthday cake this year?  Batter.  He wants bowls of batter.
(Baking one for me.  Batter bowl for him.) 

PPS I have no idea what happened at Year 4.  No photos.  Nada. I have a vague memory of a party, but no record of it.  Musta been one of those years. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Merry Spring!!!!

March Martha

You know Round Top/Warrenton is beginning, right?

One of the world's best flea markets, right here in Texas.

OK, maybe not world, but it's a monster.

Good monster, not bad monster.

I found a link to THIS BLOG on Facebook yesterday and went to see what was up because the title of the post was Me and Martha Stewart Living and you know how I love Martha.

Twas then that I realized IT'S TIME! IT'S TIME!

It's this photo that has me tingly:

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart

Uh huh.

LETTERS.  I want some letters.  BIG letters for the side of my house.

Just trying to decide what to "say" with my letters.


Not really on that last one.  Just hung out with a 2-year-old boy last night and you know how that goes.

Any ideas?



I think the market starts with early birding this week and then the real show starts next weekend?  Is that right, you thrifters?

Round Top = cutest little town in the world that turns itself into a giant flea market twice a year.  

Warrenton is the other best little town over there.

Plus all the other little towns around there do it too so it's like a little city.  

Vintage City.

Breathe.  Breathe.


Anyway, so I got the new Martha magazine and there was this big article on composting and it showed Martha composting at Bedford.

May I just say one thing?

Look at what she's wearing, dammit.

 Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

I seriously bet she just went to her closet and pulled that gorgeous outfit right out.

She does really garden, you know.  

Really gardens.  (The verb garden.)

Holy hell, I want that outfit.  Those boots.  The scarf.  The leggings.  That cardigan.

I'm sure those are gazillion dollar gloves  that never wear out and give her a manicure while using a pitchfork.

I'll take that pitchfork while I'm at it.

I wear men's pajama pants from Savers, boots that I inherited from Jackdaddy's first wife that are too big so I have to wear huge socks with them, ripped up t-shirts and, usually, mismatched gloves.



I do doubt that she wears her hair down, but that's just nitpicking.

There's also a cool article about foraging in this issue.

I think foraging is super duper cool.

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Look at that!

All found on a walk and all edible!

Tama Matsuoka Wong is the forager lady and her job, her job, y'all, is to forage food for a fancy restaurant.

Dude.  I want that job.  That is a dream job.

Unless you go foraging when you're the teensiest big hungover and pick the deadly green instead of the yummy green and then, well, you know, no more foraging job, but I'm guessing Ms. Wong knows what she's doing.

Hee hee.

That was actually quite an interesting article and has me wanting to do a little foraging myself.

I need a central Texas guide to foraging.

I have eaten dandelions and wild onions out of my own yard!  So there.

Have I ever told you about the very best meal I ever had in my whole life?

Jackdaddy has a friend, Tim, who lives right outside of Santa Fe, NM.  

One time we came in for a visit and Tim was out mushrooming with a friend of his.  

(The edible kind, not the tripping kind.  I'd be up for both, truth be told, but I am talking about food right now.  wink. wink.)

Um, yea, so, anyway, he comes back to his insanely gorgeous home (that he built himself!) (I'll have to show those pictures someday too!) with a big bag of freshly picked shrooms.

He pulls out a giant, well-worn skillet, globs in a vat of butter, some pinches of salt, and throws that bag of cleaned mushrooms in there for, oh, shoot, maybe 5 minutes.

Cracks open a bottle of red.

That was it.

Out on the patio.  Just picked and sauteed mushrooms in real butter with real salt.  Wine.  Santa Fe weather.

Never. Ever. Better.

I am literally salivating right now.

So, there ya have it.

A tale of mushrooms.

And compost.

And antiquing.

You can read more about antiquing over at BETTY CRAFTER which is just the cat's meow of a blog.  That girl thrifts for a living.

A living!

I'm jealous envious as all get out. 

I could forage while thrifting!

I'm not sure how that would work, but surely there's a market for it somehow?

I could forage while thrifting and tripping on mushrooms.

Stopping now.


(PS My mama has a new stray cat that comes to her house and my mama named her Martha.  Not after MS, but just Martha cuz it's such a pretty name.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In the Garden

Spring, glorious spring.

Rejuvinates the mind and spirit.

Wrecks the pocket book.

I mean, if you garden that is.

I could spend a million dollars at the nursery come spring, I'm not kidding.

Tour time, y'all.

(I'm just going to put a disclaimer here ((for the 475th time)) that I am a messy gardener.  There is not one single part of my yard that does not need some tidying up.  So, you  know, just squint.)

I've decided to add lots of purple lantana to my yard this year.

I noticed it was the first thing blooming around here in my hood and the bees were sooooo happy.  I don't have a lot of early bloomers so I'm hoping this will give them some needed relief.

Did I already show you this?

I guess I could go back and look, but I'm far too lazy and sleepy for that so I'm just gonna tell you again.  Pretend that I am your sweet old grandma and be patient with me.

I got these giant stock tanks off Craigslist for cheeeeeeaaaaap.

Enough good soil to fill them is NOT cheap so I gathered up all the random sticks and logs percolating in my yard and filled it 1/2 way with them.  Then I added (much less) soil and planted!  Container hugelkulturing, if you will.

I have just a teensy handful of plants in my yard that are not pollinator-friendly.  My whole yard is edible food for us and edibles for the pollinators.  But I do have a few few little things that are for being pretty only.  Some old rose bushes planted by the original owner and some Knock-out roses for POW power.  I planted one of the stock tanks with tomatoes and one with more Knock-outs.  They are so unbelievably reliable and showy it's almost unfair.  Just stick 'em in some dirt and they BLOOM almost all year.  RED.  You know I love red.

Ladies in waiting.

And some new gloves! 

All my Early Wonder beets are coming in.

Beet greens = awesome juicing = almost free!   Weeeeeeeeeee

Still on my quest for some good solar lighting.

I really do not like too much light in the yard at night because I think it screws up the birds.  

That is kinda silly considering I live in the middle of the city, but you know what I mean.  

Night is supposed to be night and I try to do my part.  (If only I could shoot out my neighbors all-night spotlight, life would be grand.)

Um, yea.

Anyway, I do almost always forget to close the chikkin coop when it's still light so I need some low lights on the path out there.  Just a few here and there to keep me from killing myself.  I found these at Target and am super happy with them.  Love the modern look and the light works really well.  I want to see how long they last before buying more, but you know Target - get it now or it's gonna be gone, gone, gone.  

(Like the Target Fox lamp that still haunts me to this day.  Why, why did I not buy the Target fox lamp?)

Wide view of the back west side.

Bolting cilantro abounds!  Bolting broccoli abounds!

Bees are in a frenzy!

I like the jungle look.


(Yes, the chandelier is still on the ground waiting for installation.  Yes, it's been a year.  Yes, talk to Jackdaddy.)

My favorite combo right now:  the variegated agave thing and the orange Globe Mallow.

POW, right in the kisser with that one. 

Close up.  Love that red tip on the agave ... like a painted fingernail.  (Waiting to impale you.)

These make lots of pups and I've got them planted all over the yard.  They take a few years to get crankin', but once they do, hooha!!!  Pretty, pretty.

Every day I harvest 2 handfuls of these.


It was baskets of them, now handfuls that we eat like candy.

OK, not like candy because there's no chocolate on them, but you know what I mean.


Lowes had these dwarf Japanese Maples on sale and I succumbed. 

I have a perfect shady spot for it. 

I think I'll keep it in a stock tank too in case it never rains again.  

Hello, pretty satsuma flower bud thing.

Make me some damn satsumas will ya?

I've had ONE in the last 3 years.


(She takes after her "mother.")

Ordered my orange chair covers!

Here's where one of the chairs is going.  On this crappy old cement square that's leftover from 1,000 years ago.  (You know, 2007 and all.)  I can't even remember what we poured this square for, but there it sits, doing nothing.  It's gonna look kinda modern and swanky once a butterfly chair is there though.


I hope.

That's it.

Off to the races.

See ya soon, baboon.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I did. 

I played hooky hard.

(Did you ever play hooky from skool?  I did, once.  Got busted.  So lame.)

SORRY for the hooky week!!

It just snuck up on me.  Snuck up on you, I guess.

It was spring break week here in Austin so we decided to take a staycation.

Grandmary came in for a short visit.  Weeeeee!

Aren't they all cuteashell?

Look at Mama all skinny and vampish.

And how brave she was to fly in the small plane!

She is braver than I. 

I have to slam some booze before I can fly.  

She took it straight up sober.  

We whooped and hollered and had a grand old time playing dominoes ...

Notice FinnigantheCurious kicking everyone's asses, as usual.

I can't wait till that kid is old enough to hit Vegas with me.  

He has a lucky streak the likes of which I have never seen.

My mama and I drove around and looked at houses - one of our favorite things to do when she comes to town.

That and eat.

This time we hit Hyde Park.

Oh gosh, there are some secret streets with freakin' dream houses over there, y'all.

My personal fave is on 41st street.  I can't give you the address because then it will be your favorite house too and you might somehow get it before me.

I'm pretty sure that my dream house costs as much as all of us reading this right now combined, but a girl can dream, can't she?

I have a fantasy that the people who live there will just give it to me one day because they know how much I love it and they know that I will live there until the day I die and take such wonderful care of it.

Hey, it could happen.

It's not even all mansiony or anything like that.  

It's big, but it's old and meandering and kind of like a tree house.

omg I want it soooooo badly.

Hmmmm. What else?

No big surprise, but I spent hours and hours in the garden this week.


I'll save all my gardening stories for tomorrow except to say that I am longing, dying, pacing the floors over this:

Do you know what that is?

That is the edge of a butterfly chair.

Oh, yes, the delicious, dreamy, fantastic, never-out-of-style B.K.F chair designed in Buenos Aires circa 1938. 

We had them around our swimming pool in the 60's when I was a kid.  

(My mama was dope, y'all.   Our house was so tricked out 1960's-style.)

Who knows what happened to those beauties for sure, but I imagine they floated away during one of our epic  bayou floods.


(I grew up in the swamps of east Texas with Pine Island Bayou in our backyard.  It flooded all the time.  Really flooded.  Move out of the house for a week kind of flooding.  Our shit just floated away.  Poof.  Gone.)

Anyway, I have always just loved them so much and longed to have some again.

Lo and behold, the fates collided in my favor and I now have two that were given (GIVEN!) to me by my neighbor Carolyn and I just got another one from my dear neighbor and friend Ruth Ann!!!!!

Can you believe that?  

Seriously, what kind of luck do I have that I have been gifted with three of them!!

Thank you ladies.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. xoxoxoxox.

I need covers for all three and am plotting and planning to get orange ones from Circa 50.

Do you have any idea how crazy good THREE butterfly chairs in orange are gonna look in my yard?

Helloooo Martha Stewart.

Hellooooo Dwell.

Or not.

But I'm gonna get them and they will look swoon worthy and you'll be jealous.

Garden tomorrow ... promise.

Missed you!

PS Happy belated St. Patrick's Day.  Some Irish girl I am.  I didn't have a drink or even bake a damn green cake.  I did hang my Ireland flag though, so there.