Tuesday, December 30, 2008


So I just got a call from recruiter lady Sam in Dallas.

I was approved for a Peace Corps program so long as I get 30 hours of ESL tutoring experience and complete all the remaining med stuff and can leave in JUNE!

Where to??

Asia/Eastern Asia. That's all I know so far.

Will a Ger in Mongolia be my home?? Perhaps!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Cupcakes- Redesigned.

I got these neat-o silicone cupcake liners for Christmas from my sister-in-law.... In exchange they expected cupcakes made with them. 

I just tried baking Amy Sedaris's cupcake recipe in them, and decidedly give the liners 2 thumbs way up. 

I did some internet research and "seasoned" the liners before baking with them. (A light coating of oil) The cupcakes slid right out. My mom, niece and I taste-tested one of the fresh baked cakes and approved of them whole-heartedly. 
Thank you Amy. 

Later today after shopping I'll whip up a wintery butter cream icing to fill and top them with, and the fam will hopefully be happy. 

I am in charge of finding a place to eat tomorrow night in Baltimore.... Any suggestions?

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Veggie Chopping

Tonight everybody (except Mike and Jack- busily watching the Cowboys game) contributed in some way to our meal. 

Sortin' nuts

Tony: Oh-So-Serious

And it was quite deeeelish, even if the perfectionist BrotherChef was not quite satisfied. 
Tony the eldest brother Bologna has been getting inspiration from Smitten Kitchen, a really beautiful food/recipe blog site. 

Tonight he made Zuni Cafe's roasted chicken on bread salad.... What is a bread salad, you might ask? It's a bread salad!!!? It was damn good, that's what it was. 

Bread + Greens + Love

I'll miss having people to cook with. To dine with. To chat with before, during, and after every meal. I'll miss playing Wii afterwards, laughing until we cry because we all suck so badly at the bell choir. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008


 I need to befriend more local home brewers. 
Tonight my brother let me try his pumpkin spice ale and his English Bitter ale, with hops from England.... very yummy. 
And for my mother (who turns her nose up at all beers), he had an apple cider. Definitely NOT for me. But my mee-maw and mom enjoyed. 

Nose turning-upping

And now we are all sitting around playing Wii music.... My niece and nephew up way past their bedtime. 

SNOW is good.

Food is good. 
Beer is good. 
Family is good. 

Vacation is good. 

Happy Saturday!!

Only in America....

Today was the big girl's day out. 
My mee-maw, mom, sister-in-law, and niece drove to Natick, Mass (Outside of Boston) to visit the brand spanking new American Girl store and bistro. 

It was quite the place. Quite scary. Quite busy. Quite expensive. Quite pink.

I must admit that I found myself getting pulled in to the sites- beautifully dressed dolls in clothes nicer than my own. And they are much more wholesome then say, Barbie or Bratz dolls. 
They have human-sized clothes, so my niece could buy PJ's and house shoes to match her doll Mia. She also paid to have the doll hair done by a trained American Girl stylist. 

My mom and niece had a hay-day. 

The bistro was pretty exciting, especially for a youngn'. She had a special seat and menu just for Miiiia. 

Crazy, crazy, crazy. 
But Megan was oh-so-excited. And came home with a new doll hairdo, dog, and snowboarding outfit (complete with helmet, board, and goggles) for Mia. 
At the end of the day, we were all pretty pooped. 

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ahoy from RED SOX land!

Us Texans always bring the warm weather with us...
Rhode Island...Day 1... 30 degree "heat wave".. It is actually beautiful today... No wind... I didn't need a hundred layers of clothes after all. 
Our hotel: My first snow pile sighting!

We visited my Aunty Barb (not my aunt) and ate lunch with her awesome Rhode Island lady pals. Maybe it's their accents... Maybe it's Emily's awesome fashion sense and the fact that she shovels snow (at age 80ish?)...Or maybe it's the fact that all of these ladies use the phrase "wicked cold".. Whatever it is, I love them and I love our short visit with them. My aunty Barb stuffs us with cookies, cheesecake, fruit, juice- whatever we will take. And it would be offensive not to take it!

We all ate at a restaurant we always eat at, I had some yummy stuffed scrod- stuffed with scallops and shrimps and yummy love. Afterwards, I looked at the goods on the beach of the Atlantic. 

Then it was off to my brother's abode in Connecticut. 

I tried his award-winning beer, a Berliner Weisse (a sour wheat) which took second place in the New England Regional Homebrew Competition..... not too shabby. It was quite deelish. He then took my mom on his basement brew tour and showed her an abridged version of how it is done. 

If I had space I'd like to try my hand at brewing someday. 

I'm looking forward to traveling to Boston tomorrow for our girls trip (with my niece) to the American Girl Bistro. Yee-haw!

More to come.... 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas West Texas Style

Christmas Eve morning is spent at the Chesnut's abode (my step-graparents) and is typically a breakfast/pajama event. 

They recently got a English Mastiff puppy, Porsche who is precious. This is one of 5 or 6 dogs they have. They also have two miniature donkeys (one is named Seabiscuit), a longhorn/cow (Oliver), a handful of horses, llamas, and two camels named Duke and Cindy- who are VERY sociable. 

In between eating and present opening the camels, dogs, longhorn and I all bonded in the beautiful 60ish degree weather. It was awwwwesome!

Duke liked to chew on my hair

Oliver is a baby. He  smiles with his teeth if you scratch under his chin

Sweetest (And soon to be biggest) dog ever!

Tomorrow it is off to snow and 40 degree weather in Rhode Island. I can't wait!!

Happy Christmas Eve!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hippo Highlights

Three Christmas's down, Two to go. 

Here are some highlights of my loot thus far.... Pictures to come.

Yoga mat and fancy towels, hooray!

A wall sized map of the world. 

A knife with my name engraved on the side of the blade. 

An Iced tea maker!!!!

A cuisinart rice cooker/steamer

A cast iron panini press gizmo


Some magical Chanel face cream to stop my aging before it begins. 

Tomorrow we go to the Chesnut "compound"- I'm looking forward to meeting their new English Mastiff puppy and catching up with the camels. 

Then on Christmas day it's off to Connecticut! My brother said there is a foot of snow! Eeeeek!
We will be flying in to Rhode Island, then visiting Boston and Connecticut. Hopefully the weather and airline pilot will be kind to us. 

Merry Days to all!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I used to be cute.

MeeMaw keeps photo albums for all her children and grandchildren. 
I like to flip through my childhood.... Reminisce about terrible hair of the past, traumatic memories of  being tickled until I peed my pants (in front of the whole fam), waking up at 3 or 4 am to look at Santa Claus gifts, my room decorated top to bottom in CLOWNS, etc. 

Here are three (I had to photo the photos... bad idear, I know) I wanted to share. 

I couldn't find the photo of me eating dirt from a flower pot, but found one of me eating a balloon string?

My first Renaissance Fair in Houston. 

Buried (By my older brothers) at the Sand Hills

(NOT from my album, but from last weekend) Sitting on a Jackalope at the Art Bazaar in Austin. you should go- lotsa awesome stuff there!

Fun at Meeee-Maws!

You sooo want one. 

As we do every year, my mom's fam had Christmas with my MeeMaw in Lubbock. My cousinlings received an awesome "Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker" for Christmas.  Similar to an Easy Bake Oven that I was never lucky enough to have. 

Hailey and Madison did most of the "baking" (microwaving mystery powder + water in a magical plastic container for 30 seconds)

One Strawberry red velvet something-or-other, a chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon spice. Oh my my. They were quite beautiful. 

It wasn't until the fourth cupcake that Madison got the icing down, creating the star cupcake. It was a trickly little machine, but really quite smart. I wouldn't mind having a giant contraption of a similar nature- push a lever down and the cupcakes spin and are perfectly iced every time. 

I stuck my finger in a couple of the icings- very floury/powdery tasting. Similar to what nesquick, flour, and water would taste like. 

The boys wrestled the entire time, inspired by their Christmas gift tickets to WWE, and basically just came in and ate the gal's handy work. 
Fun was had. Interesting products were made (and enjoyed very much by the kiddos). 
I give this gizmo two and a half thumbs way up, even if I couldn't bring myself to eat more than a single bite of one of the cupcakes. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008


A week ago or so, my Pal Noah and I had an egg day. He had made chipotle eggs for our Thanksgiving celebration, and we were disappointed to only get to eat one of these yummy thangs. So we devoted a night to making some more for us to have all to ourselves.

We also made a stop at the giant asian grocery store, the MT Supermarket. If you've never been, I'd highly recommend taking a field trip there. One can easily spend several hours there. 

Sweet, spicy, crunchy anchovy friends.

We picked up some dumplings and buns to eat, and I got my favorite snacks- crispy sesame anchovy snacks.  I also got some corn flavored gummies, dried shredded squid, and mung bean cakes. All very tasty indeed. 

Our star egg.

Once at my abode the egg feast began. We each ate 4 eggs, or 8 deviled chipotle eggs. These following our dumpling and bun meal. I was about ready to puke.. but we were determined little egg eaters!! I think I got my egg fill for the rest of this year. I even avoided them at the Country Club lunch. 

"Century egg, preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg."

I also found preserved duck eggs at the supermarket. After dissecting Balut last year, I've always wanted to try these guys. And I must say, it was one of the worst things I have ever put into my little mouth hole.... ever. 

The smell alone was that of sulfur and ammonia. I'm not sure why somebody would smell this strangely beautiful black egg and think, "It would be a great idea to EAT this."
No and No. 
But I did. 
I first scooped out some of soft yolk with my finger. The texture was really disturbing to me- and it tasted like a really pungent egg. Mixed with sulfur. I then took a bite of the rubbery, gelatinous outer part mixed with a bit of the yolk. Noah made  comment about blood, which quickly forced me to spit it all out and search for a strong liquid to drink and get the taste out of my mouth. 

I'm curious to try regular duck eggs, because I'm wondering if the flavor of these preserved guys are anything like fresh duck eggs. It's possible I wouldn't care for them, or that I am not used to such a strong and rich egg flavor. 
Maaaaybe it would be more edible mixed with ginger or soy sauce or Lord knows what, but I have to say... 100 year duck eggs- most definitely NOT for Jennifer. 

I have 5 left if you'd like to try one.