Thursday, August 28, 2008

Artfully Done

Across Generations. A cookbook to benefit the Wichita Art Museum. I'm on the committee and have had the pleasure of getting to know RoxAnn, the daughter of Carlene Banks, a local philanthropist and food entusiast that the book was written in memory of. The cookbook features hundreds of recipes from Kansans and hundreds of works of art from the Wichita Art Museum's extensive collection. It has been a labor of love of my new friend RoxAnn and countless others who serve on the committee. We've pre-sold nearly 3,000 copies and anticipate selling many more at our launch party on September 12th. This delightful cookbook is available online at Artfully Done.

Denver Girls Trip

Just catching up on this - but here's some pics from the girls' weekend. We sure had a BLAST!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Key Lime Pie

First of all, if you've never been to Joe's Stone Crab in Miami - you must go experience the mouth-watering crab there. I want to fly to Miami JUST to eat it. And after you chow down on crab, order yourself some Key Lime Pie. You won't regret it. And they happen to share the recipe. I got it from a friend on my message board.

My SIL Lori and niece Maddie helped me whip up a couple for the 4th of July when we were all in Ellsworth, KS at my MIL and FIL's house on their beautiful farm. I just love going there. And I just love how the women in my husband's family love to cook!

Joe's Stone Crab Famous Key Lime Pie

1 cup and 2 1/2 tbsp graham cracker crumbs
5 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar

3 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp grated zest of 2 limes
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 cup heavy or whipped cream, chilled
1 tbsp confectioners sugar

Key Lime Pie
Makes 1, 9-inch pie

For the graham cracker crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch pie pan. Break up the graham crackers; place in a food processor and process to crumbs. (If you don't have a food processor, place the crackers in a large plastic bag; seal and then crush the crackers with a rolling pin.) Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse or stir until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pie pan, forming a neat border around the edge. Bake the crust until set and golden, 8 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack; leave the oven on.

For the filing: Meanwhile, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick, 3 or 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice, mixing just until combined, no longer. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

For the topping: Whip the cream and the confectioners' sugar until nearly stiff. Cut the pie in wedges and serve very cold, topping each wedge with a large dollop of whipped cream.

And always let your husband lick the bowl! :)

Floral arranging?

Why not. My friend Kylie and I signed up for a Holiday Floral Arranging class through a local university.

Will my arrangements look like this?

I can dream. In a future life, I want to arrange flowers and cater parties. Check that arrangement out - ahh so gorgeous!

Pic via LA Florist blog - arrangement from Tic Toc Couture Floral, in LA of course.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mi casa es su casa

Our house really is everyone's house. We entertain quite a bit, and have family and friends stay. This house was built for parties with the oversize living areas, and easy flow.

Paloma inspired me to share some pictures of my house with her post about Spanish style architecture from the 1920s because that's what our home is. Although we have a lot of work to do, it has amazing charm.

Side view

Front step (this is all going to be ripped out and replaced in about a month)

Knock, knock

Come on in

Great room

The Indian Room (we call it the Den) - the builders of our home had a lot of Indian artifacts, and displyed them in this room.

Dining Room

Breakfast Nook (the toille needs to go - just haven't figured out what it will be replaced with)

And last, but certainly not least is the kitchen - just a quick shot. We had it painted about 8 months back - next up - countertops and backsplash.

Have any ideas or inspiration? Please share! It gets overwhelming at times and I love to hear others' ideas.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Avacado and Grapefruit Millefeuille

Hungry? Me too. It's after 4 o'clock, and I ate a salad for lunch. What better to torture myself than writing about food? Afterall, it is what I daydream and think of most of the time (except when I'm daydreaming about my honey - don't take offense dear).

I stumbled upon this recipe on blog, La Tartine Gourmande on Tastespotting I believe, and made it for a Wednesday family dinner night. But this was a special one, celebrating 27 years of my dear friend Amy's life. Of which, we've been friends for 22.

Here's the picture step-by-step, except maybe I missed a few.

Raw shrimp, I happened to send my husband to the store and he picked up some HUGE shrimp. Looked like mini lobsters.

Boiled those babies up.

Check out that steam (wow, finally I caught one of those moments!)

And the final product.

I keep saying I'm going to invest in a better camera. Then I'd need to learn to use it, and lately I'm too busy cookin' to learn another hobby. For now, I just have a point and shoot Sony. Maybe someday.


My husband and his daughter, Kelsea performed for a Democratic fundraiser a few weeks back. My husband's voice and guitar skills melt my heart, and its SO sweet to see them perform together. Kelsea is quite talented herself. She sang several Jewel songs, and you would swear it was Jewel, except Kelsea is much more beautiful. And just as sweet as she is pretty.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


My husband and I (well mostly him) have shed lots of sweat getting our backyard into good shape. A couple weeks ago, we washed the windows - inside and out - so this is the view I wake up to each morning. I love it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Japanese pair

of chairs. Found them at an estate sale a few weeks back. How cute are these? They swivel and rock. So comfy and fun!

My husband's response, "Those are the ugliest chairs I've ever seen." LOL! They are comfortably placed on another wing of our house in the guest room.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Farmer's Market

Gotta love it. Here's some goodies I picked up a few weeks ago. All my delectables are long gone except the pasta.

I should thank my mom and grandma for taking me as a kid to the Farmer's Market and engraining in me that its a WONDERFUL thing to buy fresh, local produce. I have fond memories of having breakfast at the Rock Island Cafe and going to the market on Saturdays.

Back to now. My friend Kylie and I have a breakfast date and plans to go to the BIG Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. Yes, the produce makes me smile - however, her sweet little daughter, Lilah makes me REALLY smile. Can't wait for Saturday.

Couch to 5K

If you know me well, or maybe at all - you know I've never been a runner. I'm turning over a new leaf and doing a program called Couch to 5K . It's thanks to some girls on my message board who inspired me.

I bought myself some new running shoes and I'm about to finish my 2nd week of running. Looking forward to a firmer body and feeling healthier.


This is the island I got married on. Simply gorgeous, huh? Catalina Island, California. Simply paradise.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Denver Dreams

When I moved back from Denver about a year ago, it was for the right reason: to marry my husband. However, I still dream that WE could live there together. The fresh mountain air, great people, awesome restaurants and amazing shopping. A girl can dream, right?

I'm leaving today to go visit. A girls trip. Visiting my cousin Rachel and my best friend Lauren. Cocktails, great dinners and LOTS of girl talk. Can't wait.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

California dreamin'

Not planning a Cali vaca, although I wish I were. Instead sharing a recipe for this delicious, summery salad.

Thanks to my SIL, Lori for the recipe. Its a fav at our house!

California Salad

Mixed greens
Chopped celery
Fresh raspberries and blueberries (I didn't use blueberries this time, but usually do both)
Carmelized pecans or almonds

Canola oil
Celery seed
Dry mustard
Pinch of salt

I don't measure when I cook, so just go by what it looks like and how it tastes. The dressing is pretty simple and quite tasty.

To carmelize the pecans (or almonds), add brown sugar to a skillet with nuts on medium-high. Stir until they are carmelized. They are easy to burn, so watch them.

Put all ingredients together and serve.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wednesday night family dinners

When my wonderful friend Amy moved back in January, we instituted a tradition: Wednesday night family dinners. Amy doesn't like to cook, but loves good food. I happen to love both, plus its a great time to get together and catch up. Quality family time. My husband likes it too, because we usually have something extra special that night.

This particular Wednesday night we had:
- sauteed sea bass with an orange burre blanc sauce
- sweet potato chips
- green beans with yellow squash
- corn on the cob

Wednesday family dinners = happy husband and happy Amy, which in turn makes me happy too.