Angel Hair Pasta

This recipe is deliciously light and simple. It works really well paired with a heavier main dish like steak or baked chicken.


2 tablespoons Olive oil

2 cloves Garlic, chopped (or to taste)

3 pounds Tomato, diced

1/2 cup Fresh basil

3 tablespoons Red wine vinegar

1 dash Salt

1 pound Angel hair pasta

Fresh ground black pepper

Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy small skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and stir for 3 minutes, do not brown. Transfer to large non-aluminum bowl. Mix in tomatoes and liquid, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, basil and vinegar. Add dash of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Let stand 6 hour or refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, cook angel hair pasta in large amount of boiling water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain well; transfer to large bowl. Add sauce and toss. Pass Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.



So, I was reading the Domestic Goddess's blog post (here) and that got me thinking about what classes I would like to take. I too am finishing a Master's and think I'd like to explore a few subjects with my newfound free time.

Here's the list I have so far:
Shooting, photography, interior decorating, baking/cake decorating, sewing, sign language

I also want to get into local theater again and definetly read for enjoyment. I LOVE reading. Everything about it. I just have trouble finding books that I am really into, but when I do it is one of the greatest simple pleasures around.

The only problem: Where do I find places that offer these classes?

Google definetly helps the research process, but certain topics are going to be tough. I really want to learn to sew. I would love to make my own clothing. Whenever I go shopping, I always have a really good idea of what I want but can never find exactly what I am looking for. I would love to be able to make dresses especially. My mother can make ANYTHING, really any thing without a pattern or drawing it out. She just can sit down and start cutting and sewing and it comes out great. I want to get to that level. If we ever needed a costume, she would just whip it together in no time. She can make great window coverings, pants, crafts, whatever.

She is never the best teacher because she gets distracted, so I would like to learn the basics elsewhere before trying to obtain her as a tutor again.


Yamboree...yes, that is what it is actually called

So after much debate, the husband and I will be attending Yamboree in East Texas this weekend. If you haven't guessed, yes, it is a festival celebrating yams. There is a barn dance (I didn't know those existed anymore but apparently they do), a carnival, craft contests, fiddler contests, a Yam Queen, etc. I think it will be awesome.

I haven't been to a Fall festival in years, but I love them and am so excited to go. Unfortunately, in Texas we don't actually really get seasons (it still gets over 90 degrees and it's almost November), so there is no nice Fall weather to go along with the festival. I see pictures of places where leaves change and people wear scarves to pick out pumpkins....that doesn't happen here. I want to live in a place like that one day, a place with seasons. I really love cool, crisp air, but don't get to enjoy it as much as I would like. On the flip side, there is no way I could deal with all of the snow that most of the country has to face. Chains on my tires? No. Shovelling snow? Not likely. Wearing mittens in the car? Okay, maybe I could do that one.

Well, I will take a lot of photos and report back. I hope that this is the first of many tuber-centric festivals in my future.


Houston Bucket List

So, I cannot wait to move out of Houston, but I do awknowledge that this city does offer many distractions. The following is my "everything I want to do in Houston before I move in (less than) 2 years:

-sam houston park
-hermann park X
-one's a meal X
-katz's X
-waterwall (galleria area)
-discovery green X
-miller outdoor theater
-zoo X
-museum district X
-theater district
-breakfast klub
-sushi raku X
-memorial park
-lankford X
-niko niko's
-hair lab X
-studio 31 X
-washington street X
-two rows X
-west U X
-paul mitchell hair school
-22 hair salon
-harwin street X
-times barber shop
-space center
-kemah X

I have a few things still to X off the list, and, yes, I have been to Galveston/Woodlands/Space Center but the husband hasn't, so I am keeping them on the "to-do" list! The Breakfast Klub is supposed to have great chicken and waffles and all of Bud's law school friends rave about it, so I think we need to go soon.

We were less than thrilled with Kemah, we rode the Ferris wheel which was fun, but the rest was pretty boring and overpriced. I have been looking for a good show to go and see in Houston, but nothing has caught my eye yet...and I love theater, I'm just being picky. I really want to do the Nutcracker ballet that is put on every year, but it usually conflicts with going out of town and seeing family during the holidays.

The best Houston restaurants have been Katz's deli and One's A Meal (and they happen to be next door to one another in Montrose. I love Greek food and One's A Meal is simple, delicious and has a wonderful, relaxed family atmosphere. I highly recommend it to anyone. Sushi Raku is a beautiful restaurant with GREAT sushi. Bud and I went to a store called "High Fashion Fabrics" right across the street after doing lunch there and it made me really wish that I could sew.

Any other Houston happenings I should visit before leaving? I plan on moving to a town no bigger than 50 people so that we'll finally have some space and I can run for mayor, so I need to get all of the big city fun out of the way before then.


Layne's Sauce

Attention all Aggies: This is a spot-on Layne's sauce recipe. Warning: Highly addictive and very accessible. I love being able to have a little taste of Aggieland right in my own home (I buy the pre-made Texas Toast, crinkle cut fries and popcorn chicken all in the freezer section of HEB to go with the sauce), but this is highly addictive and I have had to restrain myself from eating nothing but fried chicken and Layne's sauce for every meal. For the record, I have only made this twice and once was for a party...but, full disclosure, I made a huge batch so I would have extras.  Anyway here it is and remember to let it sit for at least three days:

3/4 c. Mayo

1/4 c. Ketchup

5 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

1/2 tsp. Garlic powder

Combine all ingredients well and refridgerate for at least 72 hours before serving.

Greek Pasta Salad



1 lb. spiral tri-color pasta, undercooked & drained

1 lb. feta cheese, crumbled

1-2 bell peppers: green, red, yellow, sliced or chopped

1 lg. can sliced black or green olives

1 can marinated artichoke hearts, quartered (use marinade as part of dressing)

1-2 cans anchovies, finely chopped (optional)

1 lg. yellow or white onion, chopped

Gently fold pasta and cheese with other ingredients in large bowl. Toss with 2 cups red wine vinaigrette dressing. Cover and store in refrigerator. Keeps at least 1 week and is better with time for flavors to blend.


3/4 c. red wine vinegar

3/4 c. olive oil + 3/4 c. vegetable oil

2 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Pinch of sugar

Optional: Minced garlic, marjoram, thyme, basil and Tabasco. Whisk vinegar and oils together. Add herbs and spices to taste. Makes about 3 cups and will keep in refrigerator for weeks.


Basil Fish Sandwiches

I stole this recipe from Cowboy Boots & Baby Booties and make it all of the time. I have a small herb garden and Basil is pretty much my favorite ingredient ever. These are extremely easy and are great served on a really crusty baguette.

Basil Mayonnaise

1 cup light mayo

1 tsp grated lemon rind

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 1 week.

Makes 1 1/2 cups


2 lb firm fish cooked (I use Tilapia)

1/4 tsp lemon rind

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup purple onion thinly sliced
Flake fish in a medium bowl. add lemon rind and juice, oil, salt and pepper. Tossing gently to coat.

Cherries in the Snow



36 graham crackers

1 stick butter

1/2 c. sugar

2 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip

1/2 c. granulated sugar

2 cans cherry pie filling

1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Melt butter, crush crackers. Add sugar and mix together. Press mixture into 10 x 14 inch baking dish. In mixing bowl combine cream cheese, Cool Whip and sugar until creamy. Pour onto crust, distribute evenly. Top with cherry pie filling and nuts. Chill and serve. May be cut into squares. Serves approximately 16.

Delicious and easy!


Spanakopita Recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds spinach, rinsed and chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

8 sheets phyllo dough

1/4 cup olive oil


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9x9 inch square baking pan.

2.Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in spinach and parsley, and continue to saute until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3.In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, and feta. Stir in spinach mixture. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough in prepared baking pan, and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with olive oil, and repeat process with two more sheets of phyllo. The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over filling. Brush with oil, then layer remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each with oil. Tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal filling.

4.Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve while hot.


Recipe Overload

It is my favorite topic: food. Who among us does not love it? I just found this recipe in my spice cabinet and had to share it. It comes from my husband's side of the family and I thought I would hate it...but it actually turned out to be delicious (and messy). We have only made it once before, but I think I just might make it again tonight. It is super easy and only has a few ingredients. It is really the ultimate, rainy day comfort meal.

Patty Toasters

3 cups mexican blend cheese
loaf of french bread

1 lb hamburger meat
small onion, chopped
small bell pepper, chopped
8 oz can cheese soup
1 package taco seasoning

Sautee beef, onion and bell pepper in a skillet until meat is cooked and the onion is translucent. Add taco seasoning and cheese soup and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Slice loaf in half horizontally. Remove some of the insides of the bread until you have a channel. Put shredded cheese and then the filling inside the channel on the bottom piece of bread. Put the top of the bread on and put into a 325 degree oven until the shredded cheese is melted.

Baby back ribs that'll make you want to eat the whole rack

Here is the rib recipe that I am making for Easter. My husband usually uses this rub/baste on the grill, but I am trying it in the oven for the first time.

Baby Back Ribs (oven)

3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup lemon juice
5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 dashes cayenne pepper
(1) small minced onion
2.5 cups water

1/8 cup black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
2 tbs onion powder
2 tbs garlic powder
1/4 cup salt
1 tbs cayenne
1/4 sugar

This is adequate for 2 racks of ribs.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Thaw ribs if frozen. Remove fat layer on bottom with a sharp knife and place on two layers of foil. Massage rub into top and bottom of ribs. Brush ribs with baste. Wrap ribs tightly in both layers of foil and place top side down into your preheated oven.

Baste ribs every 30 minutes. Ribs should take 4-6 hours to cook and should almost fall off of the bone when finished cooking. These ribs can be a little labor intensive, so you might want to double the recipe for two reasons. Firstly, it is only slightly more effort to make two batches versus one. Secondly, these are so delicious that you will kick yourself for not having made more.

Enjoy! I know I will!


Dying to try this recipe

Ok, so as soon as my sister tells me that she's pregnant, I began the shower planning process. I realize that this will not take place for many months, but I can't help but plan.

I have purchased the cutest mini-bundt pans and plan to make Paula Deen's Lemon Blossoms.

Lemon Blossoms

4 large eggs
3.5 oz instant lemon pudding mix
18.5 oz package yellow cake mix
.75 cups vegetable oil

4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbs vegetable oil
3 tbs water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Combine cake mix, eggs, pudding mix and vegetable oil until smooth (about 2 minutes). Pour into each tin until halfway full. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto tea towel.

To make glaze, sift sugar into bowl. Add lemon juice, zest, oil and water. Mix until smooth.

Dip cupcakes into glaze while they are still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible. Let cupcakes cool on a wire rack for one hour before storing or serving.

There is no way I can wait until next Fall to make these for the shower. I shall try them soon most likely.

Also, I received a job offer today, if you want to call it that. I interviewed twice for a position with a radio station. They knew my education, work experience, salary history...everything. They offer me the position....with an $11/hour "salary". E-LEV-EN dollars per hour. Basically, less than $23,000 per year to support me, my husband in law school, our mortgage, groceries, cars, insurance, taxes, etc.

Here is what I don't get: Why did they have me travel 2 hours each way, twice, when they knew perfectly well that there is no way in hell that I could ever support myself on what they were willing to offer? Why did they ever contact me in the first place? What were they thinking? They should have seen my salary requirements and thrown my resume away. I am not just coming out of highschool. I have a bachelors and will soon have a masters. I have years of work experience. $11 per hour? Is that a joke?

I had submitted my salary history when I originally applied. Both interviewers had gone over my salary history with me during our interviews. Did it not cross their mind to maybe not waste my time?