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.

Delicious Tortilla Soup with Mexican Jicama Salad

This is the most delicious soup I’ve ever had. I am a soup connoisseur, so that means something! This recipe replaces my old favorite.

The broth has a rich and deep flavor, and the fresh avocados really knowcks it over the top. Every bite was incredible. The recipe has a serving size of four, but there wasn’t any left over after Joseph and I ate! Everything about it is absolutely delicious–even the little crisps!

We’ve made this salad a few times now–it’s pretty tasty as well! This is the only way I’ve ever had jicama, and it tastes a bit like pear with the creamy dressing.

Tortilla Soup with Spicy Crisps from Relish!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ white onion , chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ¾ cups beef broth
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup tomato sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder, plus more for crisps
1 jalapeño pepper , chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes with chilies, undrained
4 6-inch corn tortillas
4 Tbs canola oil
2 firm avocadoes , cored and chopped
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, shredded

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Drop in the chicken breasts and boil for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Drain chicken in colander and let cool. Remove skin and shred or cube the meat.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and sauté onion and garlic in oil. Pour into the medium pot you used for chicken. Add beef and chicken broth, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, jalapeno(to taste), salt, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and chicken. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

In the skillet, heat the canola oil until hot. Cut tortillas in narrow strips and fry. Sprinkle with salt and a little chili powder. When done, place on paper towels. Place half of the strips in bowls. Fill with the hot soup. Garnish with more tortilla strips, avocado slices and cheese.

Mexican Jicama Salad

½ head Romaine lettuce
1 jicama root , sliced into batons
2 Roma tomatoes , sliced
¼ cup prepared chunky salsa
2 Tbs sour cream
1 Tbs milk

In a medium bowl, toss lettuce, jicama and tomatoes together to combine.

For dressing: In a small bowl mix salsa, sour cream, and milk to combine.
Toss salad with enough dressing to coat.

Young Christmas 2010

I hope everyone had a nice holiday (or, at least a nice beak from work!). Joseph and I decided to put off making the long trip to Houston for a few more weeks, but his dad’s side of the family visited us a few days after Christmas. I’ve actually known them longer than I’ve known Joseph, so they are always fun to be around.

Joseph and I went out for Christmas Eve brunch, where I had this wonderful waffle (he had chicken fried steak and eggs–what a Texan)

We made gingerbread cookies on Christmas day! Joseph gave up on the decorating after a few tries but was much better than I was at cutting the shapes.

Joseph’s little sisters pampered Cory and Leonardo into oblivion.

Cory had so much fun playing with Caroline and Claire!

If you have musicians in your family, you know they don’t get together to play music–they jam.

Lerin’s boyfriend Chris on guitar, and Joseph’s dad Kevin with his new bass.


The next day we all visited Joseph’s grandparents. This was the first time all their grandkids and spouses had been together, so we had to take a lot of photos.

This, of course, is the best picture of the night.

Wishing you all a wonderful beginning of the new year. See you in 2011!

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