Friday, February 17, 2012

Goodbye Mardi Gras, Hello Jamaica!

Today was my first and last Mardi Gras parade this carnival season. Every year my school has a PreK and Kindergarten parade...and let me just tell you. These parents take this parade SERIOUSLY. It's like an actual Mardi Gras parade, just mini sized. They go all out and I love it! Huge floats, great throws, nice crowd. You really can't beat it.

See what I mean? Insanity. One of my kids actually gave me a child sized "Muses" shoe in our school colors. (For those who don't know, Muses is an all women parade and they hand out bedazzled high heel shoes as a cool throw). How freaking cute is this?!

My "Muses" shoe, Mardi Gras tutu, and a daiquiri I picked up on the way home haha

Such a good day! Anyway, tomorrow we leave for Jamaica and I can't wait. Pretty scared to leave Buster Boo behind, but I'm hoping 7 days pass really quickly in a dog's eyes. At least that's what I'll be telling myself! Sandals Grande Rivera in Ocho Rios, here we come!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Heart New Girl!

I've been pretty obsessed with the show New Girl for a while now. It's one of the only shows on TV right now that make me crack up laughing pretty much every two seconds. If you don't watch it, you should! This week there was a particularly funny scene that I wanted to share. I had a few friends texting me afterward after saying it reminded them of me.

Here's a brake down of the episode. Jess got a traffic ticket because she was braking for a bird. One of her guy roommates started dating a lawyer, who she thought could help her get out of the ticket. It turns out that the lawyer girl doesn't like her much. She tried to be nice by making her cupcakes and talking to her, but they just didn't mesh. And here's my favorite quote from the episode.

Jess: “I got something to say to you, ma’am. I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I HAVE touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spent my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird! And it freaks me out! And I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown, and I hate your pantsuit. I wish it had ribbons on it. Or something to make it just slightly cuter. And that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong!"

Lawyer girl: "Are you done?"

Jess: "No, I'm not done! I'm about to go pay this fine, and my checks have baby farm animals on them, bitch!”

Although my checks don't have baby farm animals on them, this quote is pretty accurate. Is mike the tiger close enough? I vote yes. :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Football, an Anniversary, and a Birthday. Oh my!

When life gets busy, it's so much harder for me to remember to blog. I absolutely love keeping up with it, so I'm sorry for the random blogging spurts and hiatuses! So here's a recap of the end of January.

Both the Saints and LSU lost their championship games. It was a very sad time for Louisiana football...and for my household.

Jordan was so loud during the Saints game that Buster decided to sit IN MY LAP on the couch

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary at Restaurant August in New Orleans. I seriously can't believe it's already been two years! So much has happened in that time, but the best thing is that I get to spend every day coming home to my best friend (and my sweet Buster Boo!).

Napa wine and the sunset on the way to dinner

We were already pretty obsessed with John Besh, but this dining experience definitely took our obsession to a whole new level. Amazing! They don't have a corkage fee, so we brought our favorite bottle of Napa wine from our first anniversary.

I was a little disappointed that their only available reservations for a Sunday night were 5:30 or 9:30. Apparently older people know what they're doing - a 5:30 reservation means amazing and attentive service. Who knew! We felt like the only people in the whole restaurant (which definitely wasn't the case). The meal was just to die for. Prepare for mouth watering to begin.

Amazing P&J oysters, gnocchi tossed with blue crab and black truffle, and a fancy egg thingy
Speckled trout Pontchartrain (AKA the best thing I've ever eaten in my life) and Sugar & spice duckling
A chocolate torte and Père Roux’s banana rum cake. I take it back...the banana rum cake may be the best thing I've ever eaten!

So our second anniversary was a success. I highly recommend Restaurant August! It was seriously one of the best meals I've ever had. And the best part? My mom gave me his massive cookbook two years ago, and come to find out my two favorite dishes are in there! I doubt I can recreate them, but here's to trying! Speckled trout Pontchartrain and Père Roux’s banana rum cake, here I come!

The week after our anniversary was Jordan's birthday. He decided he wanted lobster at our house instead of going out to dinner (because let's face it...nothing was going to be better than that meal the week before!). I made a caesar salad, creamy parmesan risotto, and got the lobsters steamed at the grocery. Yum!

Risotto was a request because of our crazy food network obsession. It turned out to be easier than I thought. And so yummy! I may have to lay off the Kraft mac and cheese as a side during the week and replace it with a more sophisticated risotto.

In other news, we're heading to the Sandals in Ocho Rios Jamaica for Mardi Gras! Jordan found a crazy deal on someone's time share, so we're going on an all inclusive 7 day trip. Random and very quick planning process, but my goodness...I can't WAIT!! T minus 16 days!!!!! may be time to attempt to work off those amazing meals I just showed you haha

So excited!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Potato Soup with the Works

I got my food processor in this week, and I was DETERMINED to find a good recipe so I could use it immediately. I love cooking and have been loving my kitchen gadgets even more! After looking through my fridge and pantry, I realized I had everything I needed to create potato soup. I kind of combined two recipes since I can never leave well enough alone while cooking - one from Rachael Ray and one from All Recipes. Here's the recipe I came up with.

Potato Soup with the Works
8 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
4-5 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup half and half
salt and pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until golden brown. Remove cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate and reserve.

2. Add onions, garlic, green onion, and butter to the bacon fat and cook until tender. Add in the thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper.
I used my super cool herb scissors to cut the green onions

3. Add potatoes and chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until pototoes are tender.

4. Puree the soup (or maybe just the potatoes) using a food processor. If you would like a heartier soup, do not process all of the potatoes.
Note to self - do not ignore the "liquid max fill" line on the food processor. It isn't pretty.

Probably only should have put 1/4 of it in at a time...oops!

5. Return mixture to pot over medium heat. Stir in half and half, 1 cup of cheese, and hot sauce. Bring to a low boil and cook, stirring until thickened. (Since I lost a lot of my liquid by attempting to drown my food processor, I added extra chicken broth and half and half)

6. Serve with crushed bacon, green onions, and cheese on top.

I used almost all of my new kitchen gadgets for this recipe - potato peeler, herb scissor to cut the green onions, cheese grater to grate the cheddar cheese, and the food processor to puree the soup mixture. I also used the food processor to grate the leftover cheese. I can't wait to use this gadget more often. It came with a dvd (which DIDN'T cover the liquid max fill line btw), and it seems like it can do a TON of amazing things. Most of which I had no idea about until watching the dvd. Can't wait to use it more - YAY!

PS: I'm writing this during the Saints playoff game because my hubby is ridiculously loud right now. He's cheering and yelling at the tv so much that Buster put himself in his crate (not a normal occurrence considering he's usually cuddling with us on the couch)
Who Dat!

Friday, January 6, 2012

"The Game"

This weekend is a very big weekend for football in New Orleans. The Saints are in the playoffs and are playing in the dome on Saturday...AND LSU is in the National Championship on Monday which is in New Orleans this year! LSU being in the National Championship is incredibly exciting to me. If they win they will have accomplished a completely undefeated season, which is not very common for my favorite college football team.
Geaux Tigers!!!
My mom called me yesterday telling me that my dad got me and my brother tickets for "the game." She was so excited about it, so I automatically assumed it was for the National Championship. I didn't get to go to the National Championship last time LSU was in it (which was coincidentally also in New Orleans), and she knew it would mean so much to me to be able to be there this year. After an entire day of jumping around and screaming because I was so excited, I called my brother to talk about our plans for the big day. When I told him I was taking a half day off from work he was very confused. The conversation went something like this.

Joey: "Why would you need to take time off on a Saturday?"
Me: "A SATURDAY? The game is on Monday, you dummy!"
Joey: "Steph, you do know we're going to the SAINTS game, right?"
Me: "Ohhhhh....."
Geaux Tigers...oops...Saints!
So if you're in New Orleans this weekend, be very careful when referencing "the game." There have already been many incidences involving making plans for "the game" when the person I was talking to wasn't talking about the same game as me. Anyway, it's not very often that there are two huge games in such a small period of time in the same place. This weekend will definitely be one for the record books!!