Monday, September 15, 2014

Sweet Potato Slider Melts

The other week, my friend Sital sent me a recipe I knew I had to try - Sweet Potato Slider Melts. You can find the original recipe here. After talking through some things she would change and modifying it, I thought I'd share it with you guys. With even a little more tweaking, I'd definitely do this again!


First, I cut up my sweet potatoes and put them in the microwave for 1.5 minutes per side. Next time, I'd cook them even more, or potentially cook a potato whole and cut it after it was mostly cooked, but still firm.


After they were done, I put half of the slices down on a pan and put one slice of cheese on the bottom. Note to self: if you have a silpat mat, I would use it!


Layer with turkey and more cheese. For mine, I did add the spinach, uncooked.


Top with BBQ sauce


Add the second sweet potato slice and skewer. Since everything with mine was on a smaller scale than the original recipe, I used toothpicks.


These were pretty fabulous! Both of us were really happy with the result. The potato was still a little al dente, but it wasn't that bad. If you do put the cheese on the bottom, you will probably have some pooling and browning of cheese like we had.

Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September

How is it halfway through September? Time is flying by!

Last weekend we all got together for Brody's first birthday party! We all crowded around and loved seeing him eat his birthday cupcake, getting an icing mustache.


 That afternoon, we also headed to the Ag Museum for Celtic Fest. Happy campers with shepherd's pie and some Sweetwater Blue!


 I've also been working a good bit, but sometimes I don't mind. This past Tuesday we had Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin (a couple and both writers) on campus for the Arts & Lecture Series. It was great hearing about their writing processes, especially since they just wrote a book together. It's fun for me to see how other couples work together and comparing it to how Paul and I work together on the magazine.


 I was also excited to see my new custom coordinates cuff in the mail from Daydreamer Jewelry Co. You give them an address you want mapped and for a little extra you can add initials on the ends. I decided to go with Fondren Corner, since that's where our first place was together, where we got engaged and is pretty much the heart of the neighborhood.


 This is what my Saturday looked like:


Jealous, I know. I'm currently in a graduate certificate program where I work called the Business Advantage Program. It's only a semester long, but, man, I've learned so much already. The title may sound boring, but I really learned a lot. Luckily, this should be the only Saturday class we have. Our usual schedule is only two nights a week.

We're being teased with fall weather this weekend and KT was ready to go outside. I hate seeing all the mosquitos swarm around her, but we had sprayed an organic bug repellant on the yard, so it was nice outside.


 We enjoyed a nice evening on the patio. Cathead Vodka lemonades with mint from the backyard didn't hurt!


Happy weekend, guys!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Man, this Labor Day weekend has been much needed! With school starting back with work, our magazine going to press and going to night classes myself (for a certificate program I'm work on), I feel like my free time is precious!

This weekend was all about doing whatever we wanted. For me, after breakfast on Saturday, it was about off loading the donation bags I've had piling up and taking a peek at my favorite thrift store's 50% off sale. I got some great stuff for only $15! I've got a fun project coming up with the canvas bag.

 

I loved all these colorful books to add to my collection, especially with all of our bookshelves we have around the house. KT was happy to oversee book distribution.


 My mother-in-law also gave me this great tray this weekend that matches a larger platter and ice bucket we have. Such a sweet surprise!


Earlier this morning we also caught up with our friend Scott, who's working on a mural project in the neighborhood. Love seeing more public art pop up just down the street.


Hope everyone else has had a great long weekend!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saltine

Holy wow. Paul and I had the most incredible lunch today at our friends' Jesse and Rachel's new place in Fondren called Saltine Oysters and Brew. It doesn't officially open until Tuesday, but we were lucky enough to have them invite us for a soft opening meal.

The interior (on the west side of the old Duling School) is fresh and bright. They've really kept true to the "old school" vibe of the building.

First, we started with some drinks. This is the "Pieces of Eight," which includes Cathead Vodka, passion fruit, St. Germain, and soda. Light and sweet.


These oxtail gravy fries were EVERYTHING. Oof. I couldn't eat these every day (or every week, for that matter!), but these were perfect in a way I've never appreciated sloppy fries before.


Neither of us are big oyster fans, so when it came to entrees, we both chose from either side of the aisle - one from the land and one from the sea. We ended up with redfish on the half shell (wood fired skin-on filet) and the butcher's cut (hanger steak with onion jam and fries). Both were incredible, but the onion jam, to me, took first prize. I could eat it on everything.

Not to be outdone, Jesse brought out a dessert for us to try - key lime tart made with a saltine cracker crust and coconut and kefir lime sorbet. To die for.


Saltine opens this coming Tuesday and I know a lot of people are excited to see it open. If you like oysters, you can get them just about any way you like them - from raw to wood fired and even oyster stew!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Craigslist: August Edition

Don't let anyone tell you there aren't good deals on Craigslist. Sure, sometimes the site gets a bad wrap (and rightfully so), but there are really some good things to be had.

Here's just a few I've found in the last few days:


This sideboard/buffet makes my heart go pitter patter. While I'm digging the campaign-style hardware and chalk paint job, I could even see this painted red for even more of an Asian styling.


With a little elbow grease and loving, this lamp could really sing. Add a drum lamp shade and, if you're adventurous, some paint to the base could really punch up this lamp.


More on the traditional side, this could be a great entry table or sofa table.



I've seen more and more of these tables coming back in style. Everyone is loving bamboo! Don't like the color of the wood? Paint it!


This is another one of those items that could really transform with a little elbow grease and paint. While there's nothing wrong with the natural stain on the bamboo, a little touch of white or gold paint could easily make this a fun side table.

Happy shopping, guys!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nespresso

A few weeks ago, Paul and I started seriously thinking about a new coffee machine. Even though I'm a big coffee drinker, I don't like the process of making a big cup of coffee in the morning. Most days, I probably don't have time to make it and wait for it to brew either.

After doing some research about Keurigs and other machines, I landed on Nespresso. Yes, it's an espresso machine, but in my mind it was the best of both worlds. If I had to choose, I'd rather have an espresso based drink. For someone like Paul who'd rather have something similar to drip brew, you can easily make an Americano (espresso + hot water).

Paul called William-Sonoma and had a great phone conversation with Sam, who invited us to come demo one in the store. That night, we were on our way. We had such a great experience and to boot, the U machine we purchased was on sale as a bundle with the milk frother (a separate accessory) for $149. I had a William-Sonoma email for 10% off online, which they also honored in the store. (You know I'm never leaving a store without the ultimate deal) Score!

We immediately came home and broke it out.


It's a simple system - place the pod in, and, if you've been using it a while, it'll even remember the shot size you use. This machine makes a former barista's heart skit a beat!



I didn't expect to get the milk frother, but it's one of my favorite accessories. You can choose between a steamer "clip" or a frothing "clip." If you like a stiff milk cappuccino, the frothing clip will work for you. I'm happy with the steamer setting, which gives it just the right amount of heat and foam.


With the machine you get to try all 16 flavors of espresso pods Nespresso has to offer, which was a lot of fun. It was almost like having a box of chocolate and looking at the map to see what flavor you wanted to try next!

After doing some research, though, we found a pod that's cheaper, but full of flavor - HiLine Coffee. I highly recommend them. There's about a 10-20 cent difference per pod (.45-.54 per pod vs. .67 per pod) over buying from Nespresso.


I can even say personally that their customer service is great because I accidentally bought two boxes that weren't compatible with our machine and they've already shipped me two boxes to replace them and told me to keep the other two to share with friends.

All in all, our coffee machine journey has been so enjoyable. The past couple of weeks I've wondered if this excitement would fade, but it's really been one of the most exciting gadgets we've purchased in a while, in my eyes. I've even wondered about purchasing one for my office!


Cheers!

[No one paid me to write this post, I just love our little machine, and coffee, so much.]

Friday, August 8, 2014

At West End

Remember the mango wood console I was telling you about last week? After shooting for At West End at our house for some blogs posts, I had to have it. The first post of the blog is now up - check it out here!


I thought it'd be fun to show you some of the photos that didn't make the cut, just so you can see some of the details.

[Set: Frosted glass balls]
There were metal storage chests that we pushed together to make a coffee table. These would be great as nightstands and had pretty incredible storage inside.


I especially liked bringing in some pieces from my own collection, like my vintage ink bottle and glass insulator.

[Set: Stemless Wine Glasses]
And, of course, there's never anything wrong with a little wine and a good magazine (even though I'm biased)!


This was definitely my favorite by far. I think this is the perfect example of reuse and recycle. The green glass bottle is nothing more than an old Franzia bottle that I scrubbed the label off of and the trophy vase has eucalyptus that my mom and I have repurposed throughout both of our houses.

Here's to more projects!

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