Thursday, October 29, 2009


I've done it again. Gone too long without a post. I am overdue! Partially because I have been battling a nasty cold for the past week, so there was nothing much to report.

My Mom is home from the hospital and doing much better. She goes back to work part-time starting this afternoon!

We will be house/dog sitting for one of our best friend's [Jennye & Gavin] next week, which will be fun and then house/teenager sitting for my step-brother the week after while my Dad & Donna are out of town. I think we are going to take Chloe with us, assuming she can tolerate the pups!

Other than that, we are just keeping up the search for full-time jobs. We are looking forward to a fun weekend with friends and good music, and then our 1st wedding anniversary next weekend!


Monday, October 19, 2009

What a Weekend!

This was an awesome weekend! It was jam-packed with old friends from out of town, parties and "the State Fair"! Here is a recap in picture form:

Saturday we went to an awesome Halloween party with our group of close friends. This is the only picture I have so far, so I will post more as they come!
Obviously, we were the Chapman's - Bounty Hunters extraordinaire! (click on the picture to make it larger)

Sunday we loaded in our cars and headed to the State Fair of Texas...or so we thought. We left at 1:30pm. We sat in bumper to bumper traffic until almost 4:30pm, only to reach the gates and find they were full and no one else could get in. We were directed back to the end of the line [which was about 2 hours of waiting] and decided to turn around and head home. We decided to have our OWN fair, aptly named the State Fair of AWESOMENESS featuring the Fried Food Wonderland!

Jennye & Gavin, still optimistic at this point

Kim & Jason and Brittany were in the car behind us. Note all the traffic.
Soon after we headed home.

Homemade corn dogs!! They were SO GOOD!

Fried pickles and jalapeno poppers!

Kim & Jason enjoying the fried goodness

Gavin and his corn dog

Ryan, taking a break from the fryer

My personal favorite of the night! PB & J fried in funnel cake batter!

The plate of fried PB & J

Another fav! Fried s'mores!

And of course, what fair is complete without caramel apples?!

It was such a fun day, with great friends. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Update on my Mom

She is slowly improving, thankfully. They may let her come home Monday is she continues improving. She has to be off oxygen completely before they will release her and right now she can't go more than 30 minutes without it. Thanks to all who have prayed and thought of her over the past week!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beef Stronganoff

I am Swedish. 1/4 Swedish, to be exact, from my Dad's Mom. Generally speaking, my Gram's Swedish recipes were a little over my head, but I loved what I can remember of them - although my Dad will tell you his Mom cooked with too much sour cream [stereotypical for Swedish recipes]. One of my favorites was always Beef Stroganoff. So, I attempted it...and it turned out well! My Gram passed away in 1994, when I was only in 4th grade, so I never got the chance to "learn the ways" with her but I think she'd be proud of this dish. After posting a few pictures on Facebook, I was flooded with messages asking for the recipe. Well, here you go!

Rachel's Beef Stroganoff
[I can call it that because I tweaked it and added my own touch]

*6 cloves garlic; 4 roughly chopped, 2 [keep them separate]
*Kosher/sea salt and black pepper
*1 T Rosemary
*1 T Thyme
*1 t oregano
*1 t basil
*1-1 1/2 lbs skirt steak
*1 pkg mushrooms, sliced
*1/2 c shallots
*1/4 c cognac or cooking sherry
*2 c heavy whipping cream [hey, I never said this was low-fat!]
*1 T dijon mustard
*1/2 c sour cream [Just for you Gram!]
*1 12oz bag of egg noodles
*4 T butter
*Parmesan cheese, to taste
*2 T green onions, garnish, optional

FIRST: Place the chopped garlic, salt and pepper into a bowl. Add enough EVOO to create a "paste" to cover the meat. Add the rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil and stir well. [I also added a few shakes of red pepper flake.] Coat skirt steak with the mixture and bake at 300* F until cooked through. [We like our meat very tender so after it was cooked through, we chopped ours and placed it in some boiling beef broth until the rest of the meal was ready. Drain before eating.]

ONCE the meat is done/in the beef broth: Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add apprx. a 3-4 count of EVOO. Add mushrooms and cook until brown. Add shallots and minced garlic and combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until garlic and shallots become fragrant. Remove pan from the heat and deglaze with cognac/sherry. Return to heat and slowly add the cream, while whisking. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by about half, whisking occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in dijon mustard and sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook egg noodles according to package. Drain when done [cooked fully, NOT al dente] and toss with butter.

Serving is up to you. You can mix the drained beef into the sauce and then mix it into the noodles, or you can place the noodles on your plate, then top with sauce, then top with beef. Either way, sprinkle Parmesan on top just before serving...and enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Prayers please

Most of you know, but for those who don't; My Mom was hospitalized Friday for complications with pneumonia. She seemed to improve Saturday then took a nose dive yesterday. Her right lung is where the pneumonia originated but it has now started to develop in her left as well. On top of that, her white count is very low, which is preventing her from fighting the pneumonia. They have her in isolation right now and have specialists coming in to try to figure out what is happening. Its been very scary and we would appreciate all the prayers and good thoughts we can get. Thank you.