Recent Photos

I think I would like to start sharing more of my photos here. I don’t post enough food to be considered a “food blog” or enough crafts to be a “craft blog.” So this is just my personal blog.

Last weekend Joseph and I saw the wonderful Improvised Shakespeare Company. They were absolutely hilarious!  They really know their stuff, too.  There were subtle illusions to Shakespeare, and the speech was full of appropriate metaphors and puns–they’re not just shouting out “old-timey” words. These are some seriously talented (and funny) guys. I encourage you go to see them if they are in your area!
They put on an improvised play, using the title a member of the audience suggests. Our play was called Rick’s Family in Minnesota. It was a romance with political undertones and full of complicated plot devices you’ll see all over Shakespeare’s works. But sorry–everything is improvised, and they only do each show once, so you’ll have go to see a different one!

The group was at the beautiful recently-renovated Uptown Theater in Grand Prairie.

These two photos were taken after we got home:

I’m not sure why Leonardo still loves us!

I haven’t posted any photos of our decorated house yet, but here’s a preview! Part of the bookcase in our living room:

Taco Rice

When I was 16, I traveled alone to Okinawa, Japan to visit a friend who had recently moved there. It was an absolutely incredible trip, and I’m very lucky to have had such an experience at a young age. My family has always traveled a lot, but as a shy 16 year old (who had never even ordered for myself at a restaurant), the solo trip was life-changing.  It only took one major airport break-down and the encouragement of a very kind pilot to safely get me through Narita Airport.

As well as a lifetime-worth of of self-confidence, a new-found obsession with Japan, and a suitcase full of stationery, I brought home Taco Rice. This was also one of the first things I ever cooked for myself and shared it with my family as soon as my flight landed. Recently sharing one of my favorite family recipes, Oven Hot Dogs, made me want to divulge more of the staples of my house.  Like OHDs, I’m not sure what makes Taco Rice delicious, but it is.  Joseph even had me cook this the first time I met my now-mother-in-law.  I told my dad I would be posting the recipe today, and he said, “Oh my gosh!  I haven’t had Taco Rice in so long!  I have to make some of that now.”  It’s good.

My friend Chantell, whose wonderful family I stayed with for the week, took me to a little restaurant popular among the Americans there. Anyone who has lived in Okinawa may know of this dish already. The restaurant might have been called “Pizza House,” but I could be getting that confused with a restaurant in Italy dubbed “Spaghetti House” by my fellow Americans.  They specialized in pizza, but Chantell was familiar with the restaurant and promptly ordered us Taco Rice.  Thanks, Chantell!

It’s simple. You can add onions, avocado, hot sauce or whatever else you want to it. I’m sure it would be wonderful that way, but I can’t do it myself. To me, Taco Rice is perfect as it is because it will forever represent that wonderful trip.

Taco Rice

1 lbs. ground beef
3 c cooked rice (1 c raw)
taco seasoning of your choice (This is my favorite)
lettuce, chopped
tomato, chopped
cheddar cheese, grated

Prepare rice. Brown ground beef and seasoning according to package or recipe directions.

Make a mount of rice on a plate and top with ground beef. Layer on chopped lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, and diced tomato. Pick up a spoon and enjoy!

Antique Shopping in McKinney, Texas

Yesterday I met my friend Genevieve to go antique shopping in the adorable historic downtown McKinney.

I fell in love with this china cabinet but couldn’t buy anything that wouldn’t fit in my Mini Cooper.

I love the texture of this brick wall!

Genevieve is much too tall for these old buildings.

My single purchase of the day: a tiny Brownie Six-20. I have a Brownie Hawkeye Flash already, so my antique camera collection is slowly growing.  I think this new one is so beautiful.

Next we went to Genevieve’s house for doggy pictures! She has four adorable dogs, three of which are pictured above.

Boston Terrier Hogwarts modeled the Gryffindor scarf I knit Genevieve for Christmas.

Genevieve and Hogwarts

Red Boston Terrier Clementine.

I love when dogs tilt their heads like this!

Lime Meltaways

And Lime Meltaways these are adequately named. They are crumbly and seriously melt in your mouth. I’ve been searching for more savory desserts, and these fit the bill. I ate five of them right away after they cooled (and then had a horrible stomach ache because these have a deceptive amount of butter).

The cookies are packed with butter and limed and coated in powdered sugar. Kevin of Closet Cooking explains it perfectly in his blog: “The initial hit of sweetness gives way to the buttery shortbread and then lime flavour comes through finishing off everything nicely.” I can’t add anything more than that. So, so delicious. It’s a strange mix of flavors, but it works.

Lime Meltaways from Closet Cooking

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 limes (zest)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups + 2 Tablespoons flour (225g)
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup powdered sugar

Cream the butter with 1/3 cup powdered sugar. Beat in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla.

Mix the flour, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet.

Roll the dough out into a 1 1/4 inch log. Wrap in plastic and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Slice the dough into 1/4 in thick slices and place them on a baking sheet, 1 inch apart from each other.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven until just lightly golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 4 minutes. Dredge cookies in 2/3 cup powdered sugar to coat.

I very highly recommend these! They are delicious and keep getting better every day as they sit.

My First Sewing Projects

I’ve been wanting to learn to sew for years, and my lovely husband surprised me with a sewing machine for Christmas! I have been having an absolute blast using it! So far I’ve made a few too many pillows, a tote bag, two aprons, and a knitting needle case.

I’d ultimately like to make clothes, or at least learn to alter my own clothes. I have a major fitting problem–for every ten items I take into a fitting room, nine go straight back to the shelves because of fitting issues. Until I can make my own clothing, I made something similar to clothes–an apron! Aprons are one of the reasons I wanted to learn to sew because I really love them. I find half-aprons more comfortable, so that’s what I’ve been making.

My friend Aly helped pick out the material, and I’m so happy with the way they ended up looking together!

I added rickrack to cover my messy seams and make it look a bit more vintage.

It is so satisfying to end up with a product that looks EXACTLY like what you wanted!

I whipped this up yesterday! The green fabric is the left-over from the band of the first apron (amazing how different it looks as the dominant fabric, right?).

Even though I typically only like to buy craft supplies on sale (Hobby Lobby and Joann’s have a lot of sales), I couldn’t resist the cute birdcage fabric.

I finally have a knitting needle case!  I used this wonderful tutorial.

Detail. Nearly-straight stitches! That was the hardest thing for me to get used to.

The case rolls up and ties with ribbon.

My friend Aly helped me pick out this fabric as well, and I couldn’t be happier. It matches my bedspread perfectly!

That little blue pillow in the back was the first thing I sewed! It doesn’t match our living room, but Joseph put it on the couch anyway.

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