Friday, May 23, 2014


I may have got a bit carried away at the garden shops this week.

Seriously, who could resist a little tree with a name like this?

Well, guess I'd best quit lolly-gagging and get crackin'. Apparently I've got thirty-two holes to dig today!

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Yesterday was just a tad stressful. To start with, I was coming off of my first night wearing my new bite appliance, so I was short on sleep (last night was better).  Then they came to install my new counter top. It looks like old world candy-maker-marble, but it's actually Silstone.

It's gorgeous -- I love it. It makes the room seem so much lighter and brighter! Or at least, it did, until they had to cut away 75% of it to make room for the new cook top and pop up vent.

That's when things started going downhill. Turns out the machinery for each of these items -- the stuff that no one sees because it's hidden under the counter -- was a good bit bulkier than anticipated, and one thing was getting in the way of the other. I should have known better than to stick around when the cussing and moaning started, trusting that they'd get it to work eventually, one way or another. After all, I spent several years working for a caterer. I know for a fact that, though there are a whole lotta things going on behind the scenes that the client is just better off not knowing, things always work out in the end.
They finally got the vent in place, but still haven't managed to get the duct work hooked up. At one point they started wondering if they could use duct tape to make it work, and my stomach started clenching. I mentioned it to my hubby and he just started laughing. "What do you think they invented it for?" Oh yeah. "Duct" tape. Again, I should have known better. I am, after all, the daughter of a home builder. Everything in my childhood home was jimmy-rigged!

Anywho, those two big drawers that were supposed to be going in under the cook top? The ones that were going to make up for all the drawers and cabinets that I had to give up over there where the new little oven is going in? Uh, not gonna happen. One will need to be a false front, and the other's going to be about six inches deep.

But, I'm not gonna worry. It will all work out in the end.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I miss my stove.

Having a legitimate excuse not to cook for a while sounds great in theory, but gets old really fast. Especially when you live in a small town with only a handful of restaurants!

Things were going lickety split at first -- old cabinets ripped out one day, new ones installed the next. I figured they had the new countertop ready to go in on the following day. I should've known better. Apparently they couldn't even order the counter until after the cabinets went in. So now we wait.

Meanwhile, I'm off to the apnea dentist in Austin to get my new gizmo. Fingers crossed that it neither sets off my hair-trigger gag reflex, nor causes me to break out in hives the way that night guard did. Dentists love me.

Monday, May 19, 2014


Is there anything better than having your kiddos call out of the blue, for no particular reason, just to say "Wanna meet for lunch?"

Well, there is perhaps one thing -- finding out that lunch is to be eaten in a big cozy booth (I love booths!) at one of your favorite color-mad restaurants!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


The purpose for, and culmination of, this week-long visit with the sisters was to attend another cooking class over at Onion Creek Kitchens, near Blanco.  We have taken quite a few classes there since moving here -- originally taught in the kitchen of Sibby's own lovely home, which resembles a Tuscan villa. Last time we were there, however, they were putting the finishing touches on a new teaching kitchen that was separate from their house, though on the same property. I was a bit flabbergasted when she mentioned that the new kitchen was no longer new, and had now been open for 3 1/2 years! Where does the time go?

Each of her classes has a different theme, and this one happened to be An Afternoon in Italy.

Sibby doesn't instruct so much as "aid and abet".

Love Those Color-Mad Mixers!

First step is to gather us all around, divide us into teams, explain how things work, and show us where to find our equipment and ingredients. At first it always seems like utter chaos, but Sibby just floats from table to table, answering questions and helping with the timing, and somehow it always comes together in the end. Well, almost always. There was this one time...with some deviled eggs...but we won't go there right now.

Kathy and I volunteered to make the Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca, which was served with a Lemon-Black Pepper Polenta. Mmmmmmm!

Kathy Stirs the Sauce for the Saltimbocca
It was really hard not to fill up on these grilled pizza appetizers topped with stuffed mushrooms, before we ever sat down for our meal!

Grilling the Pizza and Lamb Chops
And, whether you think you like lamb or not, it was generally agreed that these Grilled Lamb Chops with Peperonata were pretty dang awesome!

Dessert was this light and tasty apple cake, with a Cappuccino glaze.

All in all, if you like to cook at all, or even if you just like to eat, I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon or evening, than cookin' with Sibby!