Monday, February 28, 2011

it was a skype kind of weekend

(Skyping.. a verb)

(Emma Grace was very unsure/confused about the whole video chat mumbojumbo)

(Sarah & Mama Rapalje get to see A for the first time since he deployed)

(Charlotte loved it...)

(So much so we had to let her chat again!)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chateau Morrisette

Over the weekend, I planned a girls day to Chateau Morrisette ( Some good girl friends came in from out of town, stayed the weekend, and on Saturday, we went the winery for lunch and a wine tasting. Our lunch reservations were for 11:30, followed by a tasting at 1.

On the website, it says not to follow the GPS directions and to follow their directions instead. Well, I sent myself their directions, but we thought we were smart enough and followed the GPS afterall. MISTAKE. We drove on a dirt road for about 30 minutes and passed sketchy city including creepy old farms that we deemed meth labs. But we got there and said, oh hey, we'll take that paved, double lane road over there home - good idea. But no harm done. We ate (and drank, of course) lunch as planned and it was FABULOUS. We got these awesome mediterranean nachos as an appetizer and of course bread.. And we all tried their fruit wine which was Blacksberry. Deliciousssss!! 2 glasses later, we got lunch. Bhatta and I both had this 'pretzel' sandwich. Doesn't sound fancy, but man, it was so so so good! We hung out for a while, chatting, eating, drinking, etc. and then headed over to the wine part for the tasting. Seeing as the wine we had at lunch was delish, we thought for sure the wine tasting would be good too! Not so much.

The room was beautiful, great atmosphere, but the wine tasting itself was not done very well.. and the wine itself was not very good. There were two tastings going on at the same time at a bar. It was first come first serve. If it was full, you could just walk around, enjoy the view, until they were done. When it was our turn, the lady in charge rushed us through the tasting like she had something better to do. I was told the tasting would take 1-1.5 hours.. trying 20 minutes. 10 wines. 20 minutes. Probably not a great idea.. But that's what we got. We probably could have overlooked the rushed tasting if the wine had been good.. but no, not good (minus the Blackberry wine).

Overall, great weekend. Got to hang out with lots of good friends, eat delicious food, drink, the scenery at Chateau was JUST GORGEOUS (although my favorite part is the little black or yellow lab on all the labels - looks just like Boston and Riva), but I wouldn't recommend going there for a tasting, dining only!

I love NOLA

.. and Alex loves NOLA's beignets. So imagine my surprise today when I'm reading through Southern Living and find a recipe for his favorites! I haven't tried it, but here's the recipe, just in case you love NOLA and it's food as much as we do!

1 (1/4oz) envelope active dry yeast
1.5c warm water divided (100-115F)
.5c granulated sugar
1c evaporated milk
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1t salt
.25c shortening
6.5-7c bread flour
vegetable oil
sifted powder sugar

1. Make yeast mixture. Combine yeast, 1/2c warm water, and 1t granulated sugar in bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add milk, eggs, salt, and remaining granulated sugar.

2. Form dough. Microwave remaining 1c water until hot (115F); stir in shortening until melted. Add to yeast mixture. Beat a low speed, gradually adding 4c flour, until smooth. Gradually add remaining 2.5-3c flour, beating until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Turn to grease top. Cover and chill 4-24 hours.

3. Roll and cut. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; roll to 1/4" thickness. Cut into 2.5" squares.

4. Fry until golden. Pour oil to depth of 2 to 3" into a dutch oven; heat to 360F. Fry dough, in batches, 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on wire rack. Dust immediately with powdered sugar.

Thanks Southern Living! Can't wait to try these when A gets home.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thank You from Afghanistan

Today, Alex received lots and lots of Valentines from elementary school kids in the US of A! How SWEET!

Valentines from my Aunt Bet's classes

Valentines from St. John Neumann Academy (organized by the Linda Vaught - Mom to the kids I regularly babysit)

Warms my heart <3

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday to Boston!

Cute puppy!

When Boston learned to share aka the addition of Riva

When Riva bit part of her ear off :( Which was nothing compared to the pit bull (which I can't find a pic of)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

pesto, sorbet, inception, oh my

No, those three do not go to together.. at all, BUT that is what my Valentine's Day consisted of... that and the gym and work.

Of course, I was never much on the holiday, but yesterday was just a day to remind me that he isn't here. Thanks.

I made homemade pesto and homemade sorbet last night for dinner.. followed by the movie 'Inception.' Both the pesto and sorbet were FAB so I decided I should share the recipes..

Mango/Lime Sorbet from Vegetarian Times: (delicious and healthy!)

4c frozen mango chunks
1/2c agave nectar (I used guava nectar because I couldn't find agave)
1/4c fresh lime juice

Thaw mango chunks for 15 minutes in food processor. Add other ingredients. Puree. Put in shallow serving bowls and freeze for 30 minutes/until ready to serve.

Homemade Pesto:(again with the food processor - don't make both in the same day, then you just have to wash it 2x)

2 bunches of fresh basil
1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
3/4c EVOO
1/2c Parmesan (shred first, don't expect the processor to do all the work)

Put it food processor, pulse, voila!

This is one of A's FAVORITE recipes! We like it over cold pasta served with feta and cherry tomatoes on top! Delicious!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

flashback from valentine's day 2005


Sunday, February 13, 2011


My mom got me this cute emergency kit for my purse. It is absolutely adorable AND useful, so I thought I would share - it's a fun little gift idea. After looking at them online, there are all sorts of different emergency kids - for brides, students, labor and delivery, working girl (hopefully not THAT kind of working girl), etc. The one I have is called 'Minimergency Kit for Her' and has 32 different things in it, obviously for any sort of 'emergency' and it's tiny and cute.

Make sure you type in 'Ms. and Mrs.' NOT 'Mr. and Mrs'... which will lead you to a singles looking for loooove website based in the UK hahaha. My bad.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

kitchen wish list

Some new gadgets for the kitchen.. which you may find on your wish list as well

An easy way to cook with fresh herbs!

I recently had wine poured through an aerator - oh man! What a difference! I recommend one for every wine drinker!

And I just love this reusable cup that looks just like a paper cup!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Today, Alex was being the sweet, perfect deployed husband that he is and ordered me a Valentine's Day present for Monday.. Well, apparently he didn't supply all the credit card info. So, what does the company do? Call ME, the recipient, and ask for the credit card info, while at the same time, obviously ruining the surprise. Whoops. Happy Valentine's Day early.. since I got mine early.

So while this Valentine's Day I'd like to be doing this...

...I'll have to settle for this

Pic from