Saturday, August 5, 2017

Slow Burn Fudge

For the 3rd year in a row the Grand Prairie Farmer's Market had their Fudge Competition & I entered!
This year I decided to come up with a sweet & spicy fudge :)
Slow Burn
Ancho Jalapeno Fudge

3 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Tbsp Mexican Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Ancho Chili Powder
1 tsp Ground Jalapeno Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Put one inch of water in a medium saucepan and put on the stove over medium heat. Put a glass bowl on the saucepan that sits above the water. Add all ingredients to the glass bowl & continuously stir. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth pour it into a parchment lined baking dish & put in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. Now have fun licking the spoon, you deserve it for all that stirring!

This fudge is sweet at first, but then has a slow burn once the chiles hit your tongue :)
The judges are trying my fudge! I did not place this year, but had a great time! I love this new recipe & so does everyone I had taste test it :)
My cheering section ;) Thanks for coming out ya'll! It was very special that ya'll came to see the competition!
& my Mommy, the only person who thought the fudge was actually spicy ;) and my 2 year old niece & 3 year old nephew tried it before her!!

Now excuse me, I need to come up with a recipe for next year! :)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Eating in Arlington

A couple weeks ago we decided to try out Orchid City Fusion Cafe based on several recommendations of people who live in Arlington. Those recommendations were correct!
I got the Crawfish Fusion, fried crawfish over spicy fried rice with jalapenos & crispy onions mixed in. This was some of the best fried rice I have ever had! There were several yummy sounding things on the menu, but I will have a hard time not getting this every visit!
We also got rolled ice cream! Mine was mango ice cream with fresh fruit & mochi on top. The ice cream tasted like fresh mango, it was sweet & creamy. Sister made an even better choice, she got macha ice cream! The macha flavor was so strong! Anytime i've had green tea ice cream in the past it has been good, but not very strong flavor. This flavor was so strong & wonderful! We will be back!
Today Hubby & I decided to have a lunch date :) We wanted to try Tom's based on recommendations & the owner, Tom's, super nice presence on BookFace ;)! This guy is the real deal y'all & his personality rubs off on the people in his restaurant! Hubby told me while we were eating that this was the nicest restaurant he had ever been to as far as customer service is concerned :)
I got a bacon cheese burger with jalapeno bacon, fries, & their new (as in today was the first day) Bacon Gravy to dip my fries in. The burger had fresh veggies on top, & the jalapeno bacon had great flavor. That gravy though, next time I will be trying the chicken fried steak just so I can have more of the gravy! Hubby got the Bacon Bleu Burger, and he really enjoyed the mild bleu cheese flavor. However, he said next time he would get the half pound burger because his third pound came out well done. So if you like your burger medium, keep that in mind.
We will be back Tom! & thanks Chad & Kristen for the wonderful service!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Very First Flower Bed

When we bought our home we had grass (ahem, weeds) going from the sidewalk to the house. It did not appear that there had ever been a flowerbed & I was OK with that because we are not what you would call outdoorsy :)
However, in April, with the encouragement of some green thumbed friends, I decided to dig up the yard & make myself a flower bed! Mistake #1 was thinking I could do this with a hand trowel. This is all I accomplished day 1...
I then borrowed a shovel from Hubby's mom & productivity picked up!
Everything planted!
There are some gaps I have since filled, which you will see in pictures to come, but here are my first plants! Lambs Ear, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Kaleidoscope, Black & Blue Salvia, Purple Sage, Day Lily, & on the very end Prostrate Rosemary
2 bags of woodchips was not enough, but it is a start :) & I added a tiny Lantana behind the Mexican Bird of Paradise.
I was saving the very center of my flower bed for a White Rose of Sharon. Hubby's mom has one & it is beautiful! They were very popular this year, everyone was out of them! Finally, a friend called to tell me she found them over the Memorial Day holiday!  I couldn't wait until I had beautiful white blooms!
Also, newly planted front & center is Moss Rose donated to our church's Women's Retreat from The Greenery! All my original Plants also came from The Greenery, for this newbie they were a blessing! They showed me what plants would work for my yard (full sun) & how to care for them!
Beautiful blooms!
Beautiful flowers on the Mexican Bird of Paradise!
The Rose of Sharon bloomed!!! I was told not to expect blooms because it was planted so late in the year, so this was a wonderful surprise!
And here are pictures from this morning. It is fun to see how everything is filling in & full of color! I don't think the Kaleidoscopes are doing well, but other than those I was blessed with a ton of growth!
The Mexican Bird of Paradise has gotten so tall!!
The Black & Blue Salvia have really filled in & I've seen several blooms from the Rose of Sharon! The Moss Roses have gotten much bigger & have had lots of blooms, but this morning they were being shy ;)
This Prostrate Rosemary is actually 2 plants, but they are creeping together & growing nicely. I need to start cooking with it! Let me tell you, rosemary smells amazing when you water in the morning!
I have been very fortunate that this has been our wettest summer ever! This process has been hot & tiring, but I absolutely love going out & seeing new growth, new buds, & new blooms!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Heim BBQ

Heim BBQ is our second stamp in our BBQ Passport! We visited over our Anniversary week, and had a yummy lunch!
I got the Big Cat Sandwich again, yum!! Hubby got Brisket, Sausage, Potato Salad, & Green Chile Mac & Cheese. I tried a bite of his potato salad, it was creamy and delish. Of course the mac & cheese is always a great option! We shared the Bacon Burnt Ends, oh my, those flavorful smoky pieces of bacon will bring you back for more!
Thank you Texas Monthly for our BBQ Passport & for planning our meals for a while ;)

Friday, June 30, 2017

10 Years on Top of The World

Yesterday was our 10 year anniversary! For lunch we went to Sal's, which is where we had dinner the night he proposed :)
This is also where we had our rehearsal dinner, we really love Sal's Pizza! We were fortunate enough that Sal was there yesterday so we could share the good news with him.
We then rode the McKinney Avenue Trolley. This is a great date idea! It is free transportation around a small circuit of Dallas that takes about an hour to complete.
You can hop off and back on at the stops, they come around about every 20 minutes depending how many cars they have going. This Trolley car is named Petunia :)
Headed back to the spot he proposed!!
We first went to the Bar & Lounge at Five Sixty Restaurant to have an appetizer & drinks. We shared calamari with a pickled ginger vinaigrette. It had fresh jalapeno mixed into the hot calamari which gave each piece a nice bite. However, we found the calamari to be hit or miss, some pieces were very good and others were quite chewy.
To drink Hubby got a Barrel Aged Old Fashioned which was both of our favorites. I got the Yakuza with was lemony and gingery and very good.
We sat at the edge of the bar by the window so we could see Dallas as we spun in a 360. In an hour you will make the full circle, and then it was time to go to the newly remodeled Geo-Deck.
This spot right here is where he proposed to me 11 years ago! Overlooking Downtown Dallas & Old Red Courthouse.
This time we stayed long enough to see the sunset
This was such a special day to return to Reunion Tower!
I am the luckiest girl in the world, being on top of the world with my perfect man! Here's to the rest of our lives!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Top BBQ

Our BBQ loving friend informed Hubby & I that Texas Monthly had a Top 50 BBQ in Texas issue out!
& that there was a passport to document each of the 50 you check out! So of course I went and bought said magazine!
Tonight we got our first stickers in our passports! Top 5 BBQ! Of course they are one of the Top 50 in Texas! We went with our BBQ loving friend & his wife, so we decided to split their Top 50 Experience. Half a pound of Brisket, Sausage, Pulled Pork (which they were out of so we got more brisket), & Ribs & 4 sides. With 4 of us eating til we were stuffed, there were still leftovers! It was all so good! We have been here several times since I wrote that first post, & I would like to retract my statement about their brisket. It is now my favorite meat there! It has a great bark on it with a great rub!
So go get your Passport & start eating your way around Texas!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Niece is 2!

Last weekend my sweet niece turned 2!
She had a Minnie & Mickey themed birthday party! So I made a Mickey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheeseball :)
The cupcakes had mini oreo ears!
A Hot Diggity Dog Bar!
Party favors & Photo Booth props! My sisters did such a great job making this party adorable!
Anyone who has small children in your life, I'm sure will recognize the call, "Oh, Two-dles!"
There was also cloud sand, soapy water, and kiddie pools to play in!
Make a wish Minnie Mouse!
Balloon!!
This gift got the best reaction! She pulled it out of the bag & exclaimed, "Socks!!" Everyone laughed, so of course she said it several more times for good measure :)
Ducks! You are never too old for a photo booth!

Then on her actual birthday, we went for our annual Ton's dinner & then got ice cream after. We love our little Lynnlea!
For Lynnlea's birthday gift from Uncle Hubby & I, we went to Play Street Museum in Plano. Lynnlea really liked the space sand!
This place is so cute! It is perfect for little ones (their website says 1-8 years old).
They have a ton of areas to play all with their own theme. She also spent a lot of time cooking in this kitchen :)
Then she fed the baby
Road trip anyone?
She knew just what to do with these magnets, she has a set at home.
To finish off the playtime she colored a picture that she gave to grandma when we got home :)

I forgot to take a picture :( but after our playtime, we met Uncle Hubby at work, and he took us to lunch :) We had Mr. Wok in Plano & Lynnlea loved her Chicken Lo Mein! She was so excited to see her Uncle Patrick!

Happy Birthday Lynnlea! Uncle Patrick & Aunt Krystle love you very much!!