Thursday, December 22, 2011

Birthmas 2011 Wrap-Up

So this may a be a bit lengthy but it is picture heavy!  Birthmas 2011 was quite the success even though I didn't travel this year.

I gave myself my very first birthday party and had a blast! We even collected items that I donated to the Houston Area Women's Shelter! My people rock! I had a DJ and he totally rocked the spot. If you are in Houston, holla at me and I will forward his information.  We JAMMED up in this piece.

E retains his title of the BEST Gift Giver Ever.  He is always thoughtful with his gifts...ALWAYS!  He got me a Touchscreen PC...I am currently typing this post from said fancy PC.  I LOVE it so.  I would have never purchased it for myself. I would have thought of a million other things do with the money and none would have been to spend it on me. That I-Pod Touch? He won that for me at his company holiday party! #Score

I purchased myself a few things also! I wanted needed a flat there is no picture of it yet because it is STILL sitting in the box and I received it at the end of NOVEMBER! LOL

I purchased a few pairs of shoes (but that only counts as one gift! LOL). These are my favorite pair. *B was like, "Ma I don't think you own any sensible shoes" LOL

I also got a new digital camera that takes really nice pictures...I am working my way up to that $1k camera I have been coveting...but ya'll also know I am cheap frugal.

I wrote notes to some of the people I love and care about

I purchased donuts for my department

We took B's teachers breakfast (she had to write them notes)

I paid for random meals

Gave one of my favorite tea drinkers a mug filled with some of my favorite bagged teas. As an aside, I STAN for that doggone place.

I bought a whole lot of Diet women at my job HEART that stuff

I also made a candy jar for another co-worker....I try to keep the people I work with happy...those ladies will drop everything to do anything I ask. I appreciate them and wanted to remind them.

Birthmas 2011 was soooooo fantastic. I had fun with people I adore, new and old. It was a complete and total blast. I can't wait to see what Birthmas 2012's gon be on and poppin for 12/12/12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 4 - Dinner at 18082

See those two lushes? I LOVE me some them.  I had a wonderful time with them and their husbands on Sunday. BBQ at 18082 on a chilly Houston evening was perfect.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 3 - Dinner With Friends!

I told ya'll I was going to be full of awesome all month! LOL I am going to try taking a fun picture every weekend!

What a way to kick off the first weekend of Birthmas 2011! My super, awesome friend Tazzee was in town with her super cool husband. We, along with Tiffany in Houston, Beautifully Complex and her beau, Rhapsody Diva and her super funny husband all went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants.

Stop the presses E even hung out! I got the pic to prove it! LOL

The dinner was actually for all of use to hang out with Tazzee and her husband but E and Rhapsody Diva's husband decided to put me on blast and have the staff sing happy birthday to me. Had I not had liquid courage in my system, I would have been petrified!

We laughed, we got free food, the staff was super dope and my people rock and rock and rock!

Day 3 of Birthmas 2011 is in the books!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 2 - Cookie Exchange Randoms

For some reason we did not take pictures! Probably because we had two bottles of wine, spiked egg nog and lots of cookies! LOL This was my first time participating in a cookie exchange with this group of women and I had a blast! I will be better prepared next year.

Stephanie even cooked....I mean that's BIG news all by itself! LMBO! She made a wonderful potato soup that I can't wait to replicate....especially since it is officially cold in Houston! Stephanie is the queen of soups as long as it can be made in the crock pot! LOLOL

One of the ladies made tea cake cookies....I DIE! They were soooooo good! When I was a child my mother used to make tea cakes. These cookies tasted JUST like those cakes! Child please. I made E and B split one so I could have the rest all to myself! #NotJoking

Oh and there were these peanut butter cup cheesecake bites...faints!

Day 2 of Birthmas 2011 was super fun. Thank you GNO Ladies for a lovely evening!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's the beginning of BIRTHMAS 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Getchu some!
This will be me all month...drinking and laughing!! LOL
Yeah yeah I know I have been MIA for nearly a month but things have been crazy at work and E decided he needed to spend some time in the hospital (he's all better now). PLUS, we are nearly finished with one of two bathroom remodels. Chile please, "I's tied boss"

So if you have been reading me for any amount of time you know that I celebrate my birthday the entire month of December; E calls it my "Birthmas"; he thinks he's funny. My actual birthday is 12/12. For the first twelve days of December I perform extra special acts of kindness above what I normally do. Oh how I love this right here! B even gets in on the excitement, we always take breakfast to her favorite teachers with little notes on why they are her favorite! One teacher she had in 1st grade gets breakfast even now and B is a 4th grader...LOL. This year, like last, I am going to try to do something special for someone I don't like...I failed this task last year but imma give it another shot this year...pray for a playa hear? It always amazes me how little acts of kindness really make a difference to people.

This year I am a bit behind schedule because of everything that has been going on but I am going to use part of this weekend to get on top of the awesome I will be spreading this month. I do have a list however, and the beginnings of love notes to people I care about.

Oh, HOLE sweet Tazzee Mae and her wonderful husband will be in town this weekend and we have dinner plans with some other wonderful women and their spouses/significant others. What a fantastic way to kick off the first weekend of 'Birthmas 2011' I can't wait to hug her neck!

During Birthmas I buy myself a gift every week...the first one arrived Monday...I am planning (crossing fingers) a game night birthday party at the house; E and I will be supporting shoe models one weekend *wink*, the daughters and I will be doing our annual girls weekend, I have dinner plans with my ace boon coons who also have birthdays around the same time as me, etc, etc...I will be sure to document most of the stuff going on because I know ya'll live for my exciting life *EYEROLL*

I have missed you guys so much. Unless I follow you on Twitter, I have no idea what is going on in your life as my Goo.gleReader is STILL "cray"...I have nearly 2500 posts to read *BLINK*...not gonna happen. I am deleting them all and starting fresh today, reading AND posting.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Makings of Breakfast

Sunday morning big breakfast has become a sort of tradition at our house.

During the week everyone is so busy with work, school and extracurriculars we barely make it to the dinner table together!

But Sundays! After early service, we usually climb back into our pajamas, B grabs a book or the comic strip while E reads the paper or they may play video games together while I whip up breakfast.

I love those mornings relaxing and enjoying time with my family.

Then we get the "itis" and go take a nap somewhere!   LOLOLOL

Have a great week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Food (and other) Randoms

Love this picture of B

Hey ya’ll!! Did you have a good week?? What was the best part of your week?

B has decided the colors for her in-room Christmas tree: Black tree, gold ornaments

I purchased Avocado Oil this week...have no idea what I am going to use it for or thinks it will be awesome in a salad dressing in place of olive oil, or on my skin, or on my hair.....

Speaking of avocado...over the summer I made grilled salmon tacos with fresh pico that I made from my farmers market haul...chile please...awesomeness

I also made some hummus out of white beans...the kid in my house who doesn't eat beans? KilT that stuff with some pita bread pieces brushed with some garlic infused olive oil.  I mean I may have lied and told her it was regular old hummus though...#SneakyMommy

White Bean Hummus Puree

This right here? Sucked, tasted like kool-aid...

but when you had a couple or four splashes of this...
Official Cocktail Hour!

Stop the presses! My oven stopped working!! Like, that joka refuses to get hot. At. All. The broiler works, the top of the stove still works but that oven? Nothing. Thanksgiving is coming!

*Now I got ta cut cha* That movie is sooooooooo funny!

E is going to pick up my new-to-me one tomorrow!! Talked that sucka down to a mere $300 from $ I bought a washer that is one year old *IN YO FACE broken stuff!

Praise God for provisions!

I don't believe in paying full price for appliances...I'm on the hunt for a French Door fridge for the low now

Speaking of Thanksgiving, what’s on your menu? I haven’t thought of one single thing yet. Not a menu plan, a morsel or nothing! iSlack

E wants to break tradition and have a seafood buffet…I’on know about that yet

I enjoy the entire planning, prepping, cooking process...a lot.

I am going to bust out this coconut cream cake I've been dying to make...that will be the new item on our table. Also, instead of full pies, I am going to do tarts: pecan and sweet potato

Maybe I have thought about the menu.

These cupcake were full of awesome sauce...chocolate cake with browned butter frosting...

Oh and those little plates, my fantastic cousin found them for me at Target for the insane price of like .25. She copped ALL of them for a playa...the liquored cupcakes I have planned for my birthday celebration will look great on these

Speaking of cupcakes...Sprin.kles here in Houston....suuuuuuccccckkkksss! There I said it.

My W will be here in December for 2 entire weeks! I can’t wait…the best part? B doesn’t have a clue! We've been playing her all season talking about how the "tickets are too much", how we "wish we could see them"....Do you even know how excited she is going to be when W strolls in her school to meet her for lunch! I LOVE good surprises!

E is going to work my nerves about this bathroom remodel. I am ready to take a sledge hammer to that joint but E wants to wait….he gon come home from work one day and that joker gonna be done! #NotJoking...MakingPlansNOW!

The Twelve Days of Tarsha are right around the corner *insert giddy girl squeal* For the first twelve days of my birth month I do extra special random acts of kindness....BEST.TIME.of the year!!!!

Do people still play DJ Hero 2? No matter I am definitely buying two turntables, microphone and game for $30 from Bi.g Lot.s this weekend.

My Rea.der is off the chain right now (do the kids still say “off the chain”). I am going to take time this weekend to read and comment all up and through ya’lls blogs! OK?

What's been going on random with you?

Have a great weekend hear!?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quick and Easy - Creamy Italian Dressing

Creamy Italian Dressing
Cuisine at Home eRecipes, March 24, 2011
Makes about 3/4 cup

What you need:
1/2 cup light or regular mayonnaise
3 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp grated onion
1Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp EACH, sugar, garlic powder, salt and black pepper

What to do:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. If thinner consistency is desired stir in a little more milk as needed

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Browned Butter Brownies

I love chocolate.
I love chocolate.
Yes I do
Yes I do
I'd like to eat it daily
I'd like to eat it daily
But then I'd have "the sugar"
But then I'd have "the sugar"

Browned Butter Brownies
Bon Appetit, February 2011

What you need:
  •  Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnut pieces

What to do:
  • Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
  • Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot).
  • Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition.
  • When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended.
  • Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  • Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes.
  • Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Maple Pumpkin Scones

Usually when I make a dessert I immediately pack up half and send them down to our favorite neighbors.  That didn't happen this time! We bashed on all of these scones!
The entire scone was the perfect pumpkin flavor and it was very moist.  The maple glaze was a great finish but I totally could've eaten the scones without it.

Maple Pumpkin Scones

What you need:

For the Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground  nutmeg (used pumpkin pie spice)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg

For the Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon maple extract

For the Spiced Glaze:
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (used pumpkin pie spice)
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

What to do:
 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In the bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
  • Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 4 inches by 12 inches.
  • Use a large knife to slice the dough making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
  • While the scones are cooling, make the powdered sugar glaze by mixing the powdered sugar, milk and extract together until smooth. When scones are cool, use a pastry brush to spread plain glaze over the top of each scone. Allow to firm.
  • While the powdered sugar glaze is firming, combine all of the ingredients for the spiced glaze. Drizzle over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour).


Monday, October 17, 2011

Easy Pumpkin Bread

I have been a little pressed for time lately but I don't want to neglect the masses (

If I had a quick, go to dessert or quick bread, this would be it. Always moist, always easy, always delicious.

Easy Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from

What you need:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 15 oz can of pumpkin purée
1 cup olive oil (or canola, vegetable)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice (or pumpkin pie spice)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350°F

In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda

In a meduim bowl mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices together

Combine with the dry ingredients

Pour evenly into two prepared loaf pan

Bake 50-60 minutes until a cake tester poked in the center of the bread comes out clean

Originally posted February 17, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mini Bacon Meatballs

I love when I can look at food and see the ingredients used to prepare them, bits of real garlic, fresh parsley, flecks of coarse ground that.

I know this is going to shatter all that us true and holy but these little balls of meat didn't even need the bacon...I know that is straight blasphemy! I mean I put it in there but the flavor was such that you could have done with out them and been good! So don't skip the recipe just because you don't have bacon.

Mini Bacon Meatballs

What you need:
2 strips bacon, diced
1⁄4 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄2 lb. ground beef sirloin
1⁄4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1⁄2 tsp. paprika
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp. black pepper
1 egg, beaten

What to do:
Preheat oven to 400°. Coat a pan with nonstick spray.
Sauté bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until starting to crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. drippings from skillet.
Sauté onion in same skillet in reserved drippings over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic to skillet and cook, 1 minute.
In a large bowl combine beef, bacon, onion mixture, bread crumbs, parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper . Stir in beaten egg.
Form mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place on prepared pan.
Bake meatballs until fully cooked, about 10 minutes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

It is pumpkin season!! I've decided to up my pumpkin game and try some new recipes.  This is the first, pumpkin pancakes. Made these for the committee (Babe and her dad) Saturday. The consensus is that they were "not pumpkinny" enough but they were tasty. I have to agree! NExt time I made a touch of maple extract to the batter to amp the flavor up a bit.

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes
Adapted from

What you need:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg

What to do:
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, nutmeg, a pinch of ground cloves and walnuts.
In a separate bowl, stir together milk, pumpkin puree, melted butter, and egg; fold mixture into dry ingredients.
Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.

Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve warm

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gifts - Week 2

B was so excited about that Fly ring! LOL
Her accessories cost under $5 for a ring, earrings and two bracelets
E stans for George Foreman grills. He wore our last one OUT!