Monday, June 29, 2009

Fried Pickles

One of my favorite places back home in Mississippi is Que Sera Sera. It's a local place near Millsaps Campus with good southern food. Of course, the main attraction is the fried pickles dipped in peppercorn ranch dressing.

We search for fried pickles wherever we go. If they are on the menu, we order. We like chips better than spears. I finally decided to try to make some a few months ago. Still haven't perfected but getting close.

Fried Pickles

Thick Sliced Hamburger Pickles (Vlassic Ovals and Mt Olive Hamburger Dills are the ones I have used)
1/2 c Bread Crumbs
1/4 c Corn Meal
1/4 c Flour
Vegetable Oil

Heat oil in large skillet, just enough so that pickles can still float.
Mix dry ingredients together.
Coat pickles in breading.
Drop in very hot oil. When they start to float, flip them over and let cook a little longer, until golden brown.

Remove from skillet onto paper towel to drain off grease.

Serve with ranch dressing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Woodforest Discovery Day

If you are looking for something to do on Saturday, want to take a peak out our new house or the other houses being built in Woodforest... head out to Montgomery for Woodforest Discovery Day. There will be lots of kids activities including a Petting Zoo. There is a drawing for a $2500 Home Depot gift card as well.

Ryan and I will be there in the afternoon. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Crush: A Wine Lounge

I really like wine. I don't really know much about it, but I like it.

A couple of weekends ago, we tried the new wine bar in The Woodlands -- Crush. It's located in on the second floor and rooftop of a two story build right on The Woodlands Waterway at Waterway Square. We had a nice table on the second floor patio that had a good view of the park and waterway. A band was playing in the park and families were gathered on the lawn. We ordered a bottle of wine and stayed until the sun went down.

We ran into some friends and stayed a while longer. They ordered pizza and shared. The pepperoni was yummy.

Good Wine. Good Food. Good View. We'll definitely go back again.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Oh yeah... we saw a pretty deer on our street today. I wonder what Admiral is going to do when a deer comes up to our fence?

Starting to see the details

The trim work is really coming along and I am starting to see the details. Here are some pictures from my trip to the house today.

Kitchen: I am really excited to see the vent hood 100% complete. Right now, its a little "wide" looking as we are waiting on the vent motor to be installed and then they will finish out the front panel to the right size. One of Ryan's "for sale" houses has a similar (but larger) vent hood that is already stained and I fell in love today. Ours will be painted with the surrounding cabinets stained. I'm very excited to see it come together.
Bookshelves on both sides of the island for cookbooks. Cabinets under the bar overhang.
Pull out shelves in the cabinets surrounding the stove.
Family Room: Ceiling beams, entertainment center, mantle (will be surrounded by stone).
Home office off the study. This will likely be where I work on the days I am at home.
Butler's Pantry between the Kitchen (standing here while taking picture), Wine Room (opening to the left) and Dining room(opening to the right).
For some reason this big, wide drawer makes me happy!
My Closet: SHOE CUBBIES!!!!
Utility Room
Game Room Entertainment Center
Upstairs home office -- for the future kids.
Breakfast room built in hutch.

Don't call Animal Control...

Earlier this year, when we were cleaning up the flower bed, we decided to put Admiral in the trash can. Don't ask me why, but we thought it was pretty funny.

I don't think Admiral thought it was funny, but we did. And, he did help smoosh (is that a word) the twigs and leaves down so we could fit more in the trash can.

Pink Cupcakes -- Pink Cake

I try to bake for my coworkers birthday's. I think everyone needs a birthday cake and I like any excuse I can to bake. One of my coworker's birthday was this week so I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. After some prodding, he finally said a white cake with white icing. So I asked what his favorite color was (who wants a plain white cake???). He kept saying he didn't have one and finally said "Pink". "Really?" I asked.... "Really??".

Ask and you shall receive. Boxed white cake mix with Spreading Consistency Wilton Butter Cream Icing. I did half cupcakes to look like flowers...
And half as a cake... as girly as I could make it. (Hey, when you ask for pink, might as well go all out!)
I think he liked it! It definitely was delicious!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Erica!

Last week we celebrated Erica's birthday at work. Her request for a birthday cake was 'Dirt Cake'. So, Dirt Cake is what she got. I had never made Dirt Cake before. Its pretty darn easy.

Dirt Cake
from All Recipes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
3 1/2 cups milk
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
32 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies with creme filling
Gummy worms

Chop cookies very fine in food processor. The white cream will disappear.
Mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar in bowl.
In a large bowl mix milk, pudding and whipped topping together.
Combine pudding mixture and cream mixture together.
Layer in flower pot, starting with cookies then cream mixture. Repeat layers.

Chill until ready to serve.
Add Gummy worms, artificial flower and trowel. Enjoy!
This was a huge hit at work and at home. I am sure it will be made again. Maybe I'll save it to make with my niece when she comes to visit.

Eric Is A College Grad!!!!

This past weekend started what I am calling "The Month of Eric".... a graduation and a wedding all within about 2 weeks. Eric (Ryan's little brother) graduated from Dartmouth College this weekend. We all made the trip to New Hampshire for a whirlwind weekend of events. I won't go through all the details. Instead, here are some highlights.

Steph and I drove the carts while Kevin and Ryan played 9 holes at the Lake Morey Country Club.

The flowers were amazing everywhere we went. Just beautiful.

As always, we tried the local beer. This one is the Long Trail Ale. We also liked the Magic Hat Summer Whacko.
From the top of the tower on Gile Mountain for a 360 degree view of the mountains. The view is quite possibly the best definition of the word 'AWESOME'.

Eric's last concert on campus.
And, the reason for the whole trip. Graduation was Sunday morning. It was outside... a rain or shine event. And, in true New Hampshire fashion, it was raining. As an added bonus we got to see the great Bill Russell receive an Honorary Degree from Dartmouth.

And the weather cleared up right as the ceremony ended. Made for nice pictures at least! Eric, the baby of the family is all grown up, a college graduate, about to get married and join the work force...
Of course... "all grown up" is more likely used in a figurative manner here... he's still a big kid and I think he always will be. Nothing wrong with that!
Congrats Eric! It's been awesome to be even a small part of this adventure through high school and college with you!

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