Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yummy Soup Recipe

Even though the weather can't quite decide what it wants to do these days (in typical Louisiana fashion), I decided it was cool enough the other night to try out a new soup recipe. And let me tell you, I am glad I did. It's of course a Rachael Ray recipe, called "Pasta e Fagioli with Sausage" ( I had originally intended to use sweet Italian sausage but could not find any at my local Rouses. Instead, they luckily had fresh "New Orleans French Quarter Italian style" bulk ground sausage. The end result had a bit more of a kick to it, but the soup was delicious. Kenny and I gobbled up full helpings and are already looking forward to leftover night!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Restful Sunday? Nope!

There was a time when I would sleep until noon every Sunday, but that was back in my high school and college years. These days I still like to sleep in on the weekends, but I just can't stay in bed the whole morning anymore. Not when there are interminable things to do around the house!

This Sunday was no exception; I was actually up around 8 and jumped right into tasks that had been put off until the weekend, like 4 loads of laundry, changing sheets on two beds, going through mail, cleaning the coffee maker, planning meals for the week, etc. I also had lots of pictures to upload to my Kodak Gallery account so I could take advantage of an almost-but-not-quite-expired credit and order some prints. Of course I had to update this blog on our tailgating day in Baton Rouge, and I was able to get a bit of a jump start on a project for Christmas gifts (I know, I even impressed myself with this).


Somewhere in all of that I did manage to watch most of the Saints game, alternating between cursing at the television and cheering the boys on to their eventual victory against Miami. I hope we don't ever experience another half of football this season like the first one against the Dolphins. It made me way too nervous and uncomfortable.

Kenny wasn't as quite as all-over-the-place like I was, but he did have his Sunday all planned out. He got a good amount of ski trip planning done (we're scheduled to go to Breckenridge in February!), but the main focus of his day was finally having the time to bottle his beer. So now we have our guest bathtub back to an useable state (for the time being) and homebrew ready to drink in one more week. He is already trying to decide on ingredients for his next batch.......see pics below for the bottling process and finished products!

IMG_9903 beer2IMG_9931

Sunday, October 25, 2009

LSU: 6-1

Last night’s game was a much better all-around performance from the Tigers than they gave on October 10. I think all of their faithful fans were very pleased with the level of play we saw against Auburn. Hopefully we can relax even more this coming weekend with Tulane, and then our next real test will be in Alabama on November 7. Here are some pics from the day; it was picture-perfect football weather!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The last part of our crazy weekend involved going to a friend’s wedding on Sunday night. Kenny went to high school with Tim, and we both went to LSU with him. He married Meghana, whose family is from India, in a very culturally influenced ceremony in front of the elephant fountain at the Audubon Zoo (how cool is that??). The first part involved Tim riding around the parking lot on a gorgeous white horse, with a second line band playing him on and his guests walking behind him. Then we all processed into the zoo to the seating area before the altar. Although we couldn’t understand specifically what was going on, there was someone narrating every once and awhile about portions of the ceremony. It was definitely different and unique, and it flowed smoothly and beautifully.

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After the ceremony ended, everyone made their way over to the Audubon Tea Room for the reception. The food was really good and very authentic, keeping with the cultural theme. The bride and groom changed into different outfits before making their appearance, perhaps to make it easier for them to dance….they were a little weighed down by decorations before!


Kenny and I always love seeing everyone, but since it was a Sunday night and since he had already had a pretty full weekend (the bachelor party was apparently a rousing success), we elected to leave a bit early and head back to my parents’ house. We were pretty tired from our jam-packed few days, and we both had to get back for work on Monday. We really enjoyed the wedding, though. Thanks for inviting us, Tim and Meghana; we had a great time. Congrats!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


This weekend was a crazy one. Kenny was in Florida for my brother’s bachelor party while I went to New Orleans. I got in on Friday and got a ride with Brian and Bridget to the Funky Beans gig at the new and improved Rock ‘N Bowl. It sure looks like the same place, but it’s bigger and much nicer. It was great to see everyone, and the guys sounded great, despite not playing together for 10 months!


Saturday morning I went to Lakeview to meet up with Erin and the rest of the bridesmaids so we could be fitted for our dresses. She decided to find a seamstress that could make them in the color she really wanted, and we got to see the fabric while we were there. They’re going to be pretty on the 5 of us in January!


Sunday morning was Erin’s bridal shower, hosted by us bridesmaids. It was at Trisha’s mom’s house in Slidell, and it came together so nicely and on such a beautiful day. There was a great turnout, and Erin got through her mound of gifts fast enough for us to put the Saints game on in the background (go Black and Gold….undefeated!) before halftime arrived. Her big day is less than 12 weeks away! 

IMG_9734erin_shower            BG

I’ll post about the last part of our crazy weekend another night…..gotta get back to the Dancing with the Stars results show!

Monday, October 12, 2009

LSU: 5-1

Campus was rocking and rolling this past weekend for the LSU-Florida game, and the weather was dreary but could have been a whole lot worse. Unfortunately though, the Tigers couldn't secure a win against the Gators. Tebow did end up playing the entire game, although somewhat conservatively. Our defense held them to just 13 points but our offense was essentially non-existent for all 4 quarters, only able to put 3 measly points on the board. Oh, well. At least tailgating was fun.....Jeremy cooked up some delicious alligator sauce piquant!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Brew Update

We officially have beer now! The fermentation process is complete, and Ken’s brew is at about 5% alcohol (yikes!). He is almost ready to bottle it, and we will be able to enjoy it a few weeks after he does so. But that hasn’t stopped him from sneaking a few tastes in the past few days…..


His first reaction was not the greatest. However, it was an early sample, so the fact that he said it tasted like pure grain alcohol was not all that discouraging.  His second try yielded better results, and I have to agree: even though the alcohol content is high, the brown ale flavors are definitely starting to come through with time, both in taste and in smell.  His one critique is that it has too bitter a finish, so he’s already making mental notes not to add as much hops next time he attempts a brown!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recent Reads

reserve I finished The Reserve by Russell Banks a couple of weeks ago, but I cannot recommend it. The novel is set in the Adirondacks in the 1930s, about a private lake-side community for the very rich and the trials and tribulations they create for themselves. The characters are unlikeable, and Banks takes the plot down a road that I struggled to stay on, let alone understand the reasoning behind it. And perhaps he felt compelled to conclude this Depression-era story with tragedy, but it all felt a little forced to me. Not sure I'll attempt to read another one of his!

I moved on to re-read one of my favorite series on account of the latest book (number 7) being released on September 22. I was introduced to the Outlander saga (penned by Diana Gabaldon) by a friend of mine in graduate school, and I instantly became hooked on the complex tale of Claire Beauchamp and Jamie Fraser. For those who have never heard of it, my only words of advice are to immediately drive to your nearest bookstore and buy it! Be forewarned: you may not want to do anything else besides read once you start this series. Gabaldon has a way of drawing you into her world before the first chapter ends. Also, after a stellar and completely captivating first book (Outlander), the second in the series (Dragonfly in Amber) is a bit slower in pace. Some may argue that this is needed on account of the intensity with which Outlander concluded, but that doesn't make Dragonfly any easier to get through in some places. Trust me: stick with it and you won't be disappointed in the rest of the books.

gabaldon_outlander dragonfly-in-amber voyager drums_of_autumn fiery-cross breath_snow_ashes bone_cover

Since I have read Outlander twice and because I couldn't find my copy of Dragonfly in Amber, I picked the series back up with the third book, Voyager. It had been a long time since I last read any of the books, but it didn't take me long to get swept up into the story once again. So much happens that I want to remind myself of everything Gabaldon chose to include in her tale. I will have 3 more books to enjoy (Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and A Breath of Snow and Ashes) before finally being able to pick up the newest installment, An Echo in the Bone.

What are you waiting for??? Get to that bookstore now!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Visit to Houston

Since Kenny and I had not been to Houston to see my parents in awhile, we managed to coordinate our schedule with theirs for this weekend. And since Mom and Dad were going to a play on Friday night and wouldn't be back home until 11pm or so, we decided to head straight to Adam and Erin's for a visit first (and awesome vodka pasta with andouille sausage for dinner...thanks, Newbs!) before ending up at the parentals.

The next day Mom and I definitely had an agenda to accomplish before making it back to the house for the LSU game at 2:30. We sent the boys on errands to Sam's and Specs, while we went directly to Ann Taylor Loft. We both had savings cards to use, and we were both successful in doing so. My finds of two shirts and a pair of pants even got picked up by Mom as an early birthday present.....score! We then went over to Crate and Barrel to look at a sheet set I have been eyeing for a few months. While we left there sans sheets, we did manage to pick up a few other things: new placemats and pillows for Mom and a fall runner for me. We then zipped across the street to Central Market for gameday snacks and drinks and made it back to the house with 45 minutes to spare.

The four of us watched the entire LSU-Georgia game on the edge of our seats, and we were exhausted when it was finally over. Having not secured a win between the hedges since 1986, the Tigers erased that stat with a victory over the Bulldogs in Athens, 20-13. I'm keeping all of my fingers and toes crossed that they can keep this momentum going for when they face Florida this weekend at home. Still no word on whether or not Tim Tebow will start, but what we do know is ESPN College Gameday will be in Baton Rouge, the tailgating will be in full force, and there's nothing like a Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. GEAUX TIGERS!!!

Thanks for letting us visit, Mom and Dad; we had a great time hanging with you this weekend!

fall Even though it may not feel like it outside, it's fall at our house…check out my new C&B runner in the upper left pic!

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