Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tour De Dining Room

Thought a few of you might like to see our most recently completed room. What are your thoughts on the wall art?? Bold, yet simplistic is how I would describe it. It's nothing amazing, but fitting for the dining room. The clock was hand made by Chris's grandpa and given to us for a wedding gift. We've had it in a closet everywhere we've lived and finally it's up on the wall. Wine tower was purchased on Craig's List for a steal of a price. The hutch is a new addition and a perfect home for all of Taste and See's platters and serving pieces.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What a Great Day!

Today was the best Saturday I've had in a really long time. After a long night of getting up every couple of hours because Marlow was sick, I was able to sleep in some. We headed to Town Lake for the morning to work out with friends. Marlow came along, of course. The weather was great! High '80s and mild sun. The trail was packed, but not so much that you couldn't enjoy it. The guys ran and Lydia and I walked with Marls. He got to swim a few times throughout our walk. We met the guys back at the water coolers and stretched. Then we headed out for lunch together. Our original plan was Flip Happy Crepes, however the line was way long, so instead we ended up at P. Terry's. And can I just say a shout out to P. Terry's? It was our first time eating there today and we loved it! Yummy food. It's Austin's version of In 'n Out Burger, I believe. Local, organic beef (although I had the veggie burger that was oh-so-delish), fresh cut fries from real potatoes fried in canola, fresh squeezed lemonade, etc. For a burger joint, you can't get much better than that. We topped off our meal with Coronas, of course. Only fitting for a hot, sunny day. And after stuffing ourselves with such a feast, we just had to go eat cupcakes at Hey Cupcake. What a day!

Friday, April 25, 2008


In the last week and a half:
I found a great baking supplies store in town.
My sister-in-law had a birthday.
We've been enjoying our outdoor dining area this season.
Critters are still present.
We enjoyed our first Seder Dinner.
I made 2 Tres Leches cakes for a Latino friend.
We took our Singaporean friends to church last Sunday.
I've been catering a lot of showers.
It was my day off.
I assembled a piece of furniture and installed shelves.
I took Marlow to the park while I ate lunch.
We dropped off our car to get some repairs.
I had so much fun putting things in my new cabinet.
I made tomato soup and parmesan toast for dinner.
I did laundry.
I dusted and organized.
I watched part of a movie.
I ate ice cream.
I am blogging.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I've been craving them. Roast 'em, chill 'em, peel 'em, dice 'em. Mmm. If you find yourself making a sour face or gagging because you think you don't like the friendly root vegetable, you may be missing out on something you might actually enjoy. Just TRUST me. Buy one and put it in a salad with oh...say, some red leaf lettuce, honey roasted pecans, Italian blue cheese with sherry vinaigrette (tonight's feast) and you might just be glad you did. Or like me, you'll know you like them from the color of your hands. They are oh-so-good.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Express vs. Zephyrs

Today we went to our first Round Rock Express game. It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun sitting right behind home base, eating our foot longs, nachos, and funnel cakes. Our friend, Randy, works for the ticket office and got us free passes for the game.

Broke: Updated

In the last two weeks:
- lawn mower
- leaf blower
- printer
- dead car battery
- 4 flat tires
- stereo receiver
- car side mirror
- power steering


- cell phone
- garage door
- iPod
- freezer
- laptop
- water hose
- coffee table
- bedroom lamp
- office door hinge
- hallway door hinge

I'm sure I could think of more things if I tried.
This is why we take vacations. To run away from life falling apart.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Too Bad He Ain't No Coon Dog

For the last couple of nights, we get to lay in bed listening to some kind of critter in our walls eat or scratch or dig or something. Not comforting. It happened last summer, too, but it went away over the colder months and we forgot about it. But it is back with full vengeance. So after midnight sometime, we just couldn't take it anymore. Every half hour or so, Chris would get up and bang on the walls really hard, hoping to scare it away so it would stop, because besides being REALLY loud, we hear it's not good to co-habitat with an unknown animal in your walls. But it wouldn't stop. It kept getting louder and louder and I could just imagine a little claw or rodent mouth of some sort finding it's way through the insulation and eventually the drywall and seeing it eat its way through. We wouldn't have it! So we jump out of bed, run through the house, turn on all the lights, and Marlow runs after us. Chris grabs the biggest flashlight with working batteries that he can find, and I grab--what else but a broom. The famous weapon of women, right? (Even though I was a sharpshooter with my M16 and qualified as expert in grenades!) We book it outside in our pajamas, dog following. We circle the house, shining the light, looking for a massive hole of some sort that such an animal could get through. To help, I bang on the house or gutters every three feet or so to make sure they're not hiding within eyesight. We find nothing. Marlow is running around with his nose to the ground, sniffing away, because he knows something is up. Chris is pissed at whatever it is and ready to kill and destroy. (You have to understand that we've lost sleep over this thing.) We're basically yelling at it from the perimeter of our house, looking like fools with a broom and flashlight in our Sunday's best. I'm sure our neighbors were appreciative. We find nothing and go inside feeling defeated. Chris goes into the garage and up into the attic for one last chance of finding it. He climbs up with his flashlight (I've still never been up there and don't care to. It's a little crawl space hole and can't be pleasant.) and shines it in every corner of the attic. Finally he sees him! First little yellow eyes, then as the light comes to his shadow, he realizes it is a raccoon indeed. Luckily no man-sized rat or anything rodent-like, which makes me feel a little better. But we had no way of killing it, so today it is my job to find a pest control company who insures attics and is willing to crawl up there and hunt it down. Too bad we can't just send Marlow up there to get him.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Have It and Eat It, too

The last two days Chris and I both have been suffering from migraines. Not fun. It must be something in the air/allergies. We've been just laying around the house when we get home at night. But last night we decided we needed to get out and find something fun to do. We had plans to go to the finale of Austin's Poetry Slam, but ended up at a coffee shop where we just sat and looked at each other. No conversation. No dialogue. We felt like an old couple with nothing in common to talk about anymore, but really we were just feeling under the weather and fatigued from our headaches. So we left and came upon this quaint and exciting little stand; Hey Cupcake! I must say I was pretty excited to find a cupcake counter in Austin, selling exclusively cupcakes and milk in cartons. What could be better? Cupcakes sure are getting trendy these days, but whodathunk a little silver trailer could get such great business? So this is my shout out to Hey Cupcake! Also...while checking out the acclaimed Vanilla Bakeshop site, I found this little treasure for guys out there who also enjoy the cake.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Best Chocolate Buttercream Recipe Ever

From Bon Appetit:

I'm usually not crazy about using shortenings in my icings, but you really can't tell with this one and it's so creamy and delicious. If you have a strong aversion to shortening, omit it. You could replace it with butter and it will still turn out great. This recipe is definitely a keeper, and it does make a lot, so unless you are making a full sized sheet plan cake, then make half the recipe. That should be plenty, and if you have leftovers, just freeze.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Must Be Nice

I found a new blog today and I love reading about her adventures. It's one of my dreams to do an apprenticeship someday in Paris, home of my program, Le Cordon Bleu. Until then, I'll read on and live vicariously through Asima.

It's Official

Taste and See Fine Dining now has its own checking account, domain space, and tax ID number. Business is slow lately, but I've been working a lot for the other biz and haven't had a ton of time, so that's fine by me. I have however been up to more baking recently. My neighbor placed a cake order, so Sunday I'll be working on the 60th birthday cake decorated with music motif. Should be fun to bust out my piping skills. That was a special talent I discovered in my P&B class in culinary school.

April is here as is lots of blooming. I forgot how much I missed green grass and humming birds and bluebonnets! Texas springs are really beautiful. Breezy, cool days, and more rain, which is always good. The Greenbelt is much more fun with water. Plus, rain means we don't have to water our lawn.

I may join a group of Turkish women tomorrow night for tea. There is an association in town for Turkish women. Our church has adopted Turkey as our "Samaria" and I want to fall in love with them. Sometimes certain people groups capture my heart and I can't help but love them. I hope that happens with the Turks. Perhaps then I will smirk. Or maybe I'll find a quirk. But then I'd be a jerk.

The laundry room status is: almost complete. The things left to do are put up the trim, paint it, and install the light. It is fully functional now, which is great, because my 8 loads of laundry really couldn't wait any longer. Eventually we will put up cabinetry and Elfa in the closet, but for now, I'm quite content with the cool tiled flooring and "toast" colored walls.