Friday, November 30, 2018

6 thing Friday - headwear, marmalade, Westcave, deer, Adelbert's, kid tree

I ordered a cute headband for The Girl and I to wear for the turkey trot:
 Silly and colorful and fun!  Hubby wore a turkey hat.  We three were stylin'.
On one of my favorite blogs, the author talked about making jam out of peach peels - sounded very depression era and intriguing.  So after I squeezed all of the juice out of my mandarin oranges for cranberry sauce, I boiled down the tiny strips of peel and pulp, added sugar, and made my own delicious orange marmalade! 
We took The Girl to Westcave Cellars last Sunday for Pig Pickin's and wine to enjoy along with a live band. They had a firepit that kept us warm and everyone was so friendly.  Tomorrow is their wine club pick-up party and the menu of bacon wrapped smoked tenderloin makes my heart skip a beat.  This is a keeper of a place to enjoy wine out under big trees.
 A minivan loaded with field-dressed deer on their way to processing...only in Burnet.
 Hubby and I took ourselves out for a beer last Saturday and bought some fish and chips from the food trailer parked out front.  Hubby also struck up a conversation with the master brewer who happened by and managed a pull of their soon to be released Cuvee coffee porter.  It was smooth and delightful and I'm sure we will be back when they release it.  They feature local artists too:
See that shape of Texas made of corks?  I want to make one.
We were dog tired at the end of Sunday, but while the turkey soup was simmering along we managed to get the kids' tree decorated.  Lucky for me I figured out the secret of storing this tree:  keep it in the garage with all of its light still attached.  Wonder why it takes me so long to discover these things...In the background you can see my tiny mantel decor {which I hope to improve upon} and Hubby's sparkly effects light bulb.  
And here we are, at yet another weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The tree is up!

The looks on my peeps faces would suggest they did not enjoy this annual tradition of going to the tree farm on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  But they weren't coerced.  And they love a real tree!
We arrived around 11 a.m., and just like the day before, it was cloudy and cool, with no rain which was great.  Teddy is the most excited member of this tree-hunting team!
I think they are over me pointing a camera or phone at them, though...

We found the perfect tree in record time, and though it was their absolute busiest day of the season, the lines and crowds weren't terrible.  They shake the tree out, bag it, and give you a ticket so you know you are paying for, and picking up, the tree you cut down.
We took it home, got it trimmed and in water, ate leftovers...then the decorating stalled.  Everyone was so tired and no one wanted to deal with the mess.  We let the front room sit like this for a while, while we took naps and generally did nothing...Yes, that is mainly Fall decor on my dining table.  And trash by the Teddy gate.
 Later on, we rallied, as you can see, and the front room was ready to usher in the holidays!  {Hubby is enjoying a scotch and water as he admires the tree.}  I took two leaves out of the ginormous dining table and may still store that coffee table. 
It's not as big a tree as last year's, but it is full and pretty and smells amazing.  We also got the kids' tree up, and all of the decor out that I can handle for right now.  I still have several things on my list to accomplish this week - getting the washer repaired, steam cleaning the carpets, buying groceries, and some self-care - but we have a mostly clean and pretty place to land at the end of our workday!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Mealplan Monday #221

The turkey dinner was so good this year!  All of the leftovers either got eaten, or made into a meal to freeze, or put into smaller containers for a lunch at work, or made into 3 portions of meat and broth for soup!  Turkey is such a great value and we LOVE it!
Monday - Chicken Mole, rice, green beans
Tuesday - Beefy Shells Pasta, peas and carrots
Wednesday - Grilled Havaarti and salami with knock-off Chik-Fil-A Superfood Salad
Thursday - BBQ Skillet Pork Chops, mac and cheese, broccoli
Friday - Tilapia, 7 grains, Asian chopped salad
Saturday - Crockpot Beef Stew
Sunday - Eggs, biscuits and cream sausage gravy, fruit cocktail salad

Friday, November 23, 2018

Turkey Day re-cap

I'm feeling a little pooped after yesterday's fun and frolicking - sometimes Thanksgiving wears me out!  So, while Hubby is currently fixing some kind of scrambled eggs for us to enjoy with leftover birthday cake and other desserts, here is the re-cap:  
After putting the bird in the oven, and having coffee and bagels, we went downtown for Turkey Trot along with 20,000 of our closest friends.

{Let's not mention that Hubby and I wore less than optimal shoes for walking 5 miles...the weather was perfect.}  A little cloudy, cool, no rain.
Waiting for our start time on the Lavaca Street bridge, I took a shot of the thousands of humans behind me.  Then after that, I paid attention to navigating through the ones in front of me as I started. After you get past mile two, the crowds thin a little - the serious runners are far ahead and every now and then a small group would run zig-zagging through the crowd.
 I paused now and again to get a shot.  The above photo is shortly after the three mile mark, when I thought I would never make it another 2 miles.  The below photo looks out over Mopac.
 I thought Town Lake was really pretty and Fall-ish:
 We finished up around 1145, and were home by noon!  
I took one photo of my humans in the kitchen as I made side dishes for lunch.  We had some really good sangria and an apricot and brie appetizer that I will definitely make again!
 I lit the candles, we decanted the wine, and proceeded to have a lovely Thanksgiving meal.  We each said what we were thankful for, Hubby said a lovely grace, and we spent the afternoon napping, taking a walk to the greenbelt for photos, and playing cards.  Somewhere in there, we also managed to enjoy a firepit, but I had put my phone down, opting to live in the moment, not the photos...
And today, if we can get moving,  we will get the Christmas tree up and enjoy some pulled pork!  
Happy beginning of the holiday season!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Simple Thanksgiving table!

Believe it or not, I hadn't really planned out the Thanksgiving table until this morning...
I had purchased new chargers (after a spray paint fail with the old ones) and I had gathered some candles and some faux flowers and leaves, but I just figured I would throw it together and not stress it...and you know what?  It worked out great!
 I added another leaf to the table, pulled out a cranberry tablecloth, set each place pretty simple with a charger, napkin, fork and knife, wineglass...
 ...and added the candles and the stems, along with some glittery leaves I've used many times.  Done.  I think that with all of our smiling faces lit by candleglow, it will be a beautiful dinner scene!  And now I'm off to bake a pie or two and munch on some chex mix...'cause it's also my birthday today!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Mealplan Monday #220

Monday - Grilled Cheese sammies, soup
Tuesday - Texas style pork chops, mac and cheese, peas
Wednesday - Ordering pizza out so we can prep Thanksgiving meal*
Friday - Pulled Pork in the crockpot with potato salad, chips, etc.
Saturday - Turkey Soup, rolls
Sunday - Oven Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes, salad

Friday, November 16, 2018

A good house guest

Teddy has been with us for about a month while The Girl was in a busy time at work.  But she will be headed home in a couple of days!  We will have a nice, long visit - doing Turkey Trot, eating our favorite Thanksgiving foods, and enjoying the firepit - 
Teddy is really a people dog - loves to follow me around from room to room, nudging against me and my desk or the kitchen counter for attention.  Jumps on the bed and pounces on me in the morning like he wants to play first thing.  Ate ALL of his kibble (which he rarely does, so The Girl ordered him more to be delivered), enjoyed lots of evening walks with Hubby, and just generally behaved himself.  No accidents.  No getting into the recycle bin.  No chewing on anything.  No barking.  In short, just a really good house guest.  But I am sure he would totally rather be with his human.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Hearty Beef Soup

This is the soup pictured on Monday's menus:
We had it one day last week when I was feeling puny and it sure hit the spot.  Soup weather is upon us here - we had our first freeze last night.  Seems like summer was over with the rain, now fall is over, and cooler temps mean I will will cook more comfort food.  I can't remember where I found this recipe, tho I have mentioned it in previous menu plans.

Hearty Beef Soup
1# lean ground beef
15 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
13-14 oz carton veggie broth
14 1/2 oz can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
1/2 t. dried parsley, thyme and rosemary mix (use some creative license here)*
1 bag baby spinach
grated parmesan cheese

In a soup pot, brown the beef in a little olive oil.  Add beans, broth, tomatoes, and herbs.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.  Gently stir in ALL of the spinach until it is well wilted - it WILL all fit.  Continue simmering a few minutes, then serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and some garlic toast.
*I rarely ever follow a recipe card to the letter.  Sometimes I will make substitutions, add a little extra something extra, or cook it a different way to fit our schedule.  But this recipe is definitely a keeper as is!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Mealplan Monday #219

It's soup weather!*
Monday - Brinner
Tuesday - Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Bites with broccoli and ramen
Wednesday - Freezer pizza, salad
Thursday - Orange Marmalade Chicken salad on croissants
Friday - Meatball and Rice Skillet with peas
Saturday - YOYO
Sunday - Beef Taco Night!
*But it's not on the menus this week...

Friday, November 9, 2018

5 thing Friday - He and She, knife, Celis, water woes, Tech Week

Teddy is staying with us while The Girl has a "mini" busy season at work.  She is taking on new responsibilities and is doing a great job in her profession - I am super proud of her!
One day last week, Teddy sat in front of the living room windows and growled/barked softly to himself as some moving guys were unloading the house next door.  A fine guard dog he is!
I'm sure both of them miss each other, though...
She will be here on the 17th...just 8 more days!
I took my mother to lunch last Friday, along with helping her get groceries and other errands done.  At the restaurant, this was the knife they included with the silverware. We used it to butter our rolls, but I could kill and skin a bear with it. 
Seriously.  Overkill.
Hubby and I have slowly gravitated over to the beer world and its been a good break from wineries...can't believe I said that! One of our fav places is Celis.  He likes the raspberry, I like the oatmeal stout.  We both love the quiet taproom with lots of tables to play cards.  And its literally 3 miles from our house.
Austin's Great Drinking Water Crisis of 2018 is at end.  I don't think it was handled all that well by either the city or businesses, let alone consumers.  People about lost their minds.  And some of the sign placements in the hospital just did not make sense.  On some of the faucets it actually stated you should not wash your hands.  WHAT.
This week is National Rad Tech Week and so far it's been rather lackluster.  We've been super busy at the hospital making it near impossible for the bulk of staff to enjoy the lunches and breakfasts and all around fun stuff.  On Tuesday night I fell, walking to my car after work, bruising the he** out of my janky knee.  And all week I have battled a cold.  Then Wednesday night I got sick after eating a deli salad I had purchased at HEB for lunch.  So yesterday, I called out.  ):  Calling out is not something I enjoy...especially on a week we are celebrating our profession.


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