Eat, Drink & Be Merry

12.30.2012

Photobucket
My trip to Dallas was not short of fine dining experiences. My friend and hostess extraordinaire Meghan carted me around town, showing me the best of all cuisines Dallas had to offer: semi-casual French at Rise Nº1, easygoing gourmet at Eatzis (still mourning over our loss of this Dean + Deluca-esqe market in Houston), Mi Cocina's little hermana Taco Diner, delizioso Italiano eats at Patrizios, and top of the line seafood at Café Pacific

Photobucket
Somehow, after all that, my stomach managed to squeeze in one final good eat, which came highly recommended by my Dallas roommate, Kate. I've never been a Nutella nut, but the Nutella Panini at Dough did me in. Warm nutella and marshmallow wedged between two buttered pieces of bread was all spread around a pile of whipped cream and caramel sauce. A word to the wise: for those of you making 2013 the year of intense health and fitness, I'd steer clear of Dough's dessert menu. 

Happy almost New Year!

Feliz Familia

12.26.2012

Photobucket
The holidays have been, as is typical, an unusual mix of relaxation and chaos. Last minute errands are inevitable, but so are gluttonous meals accompanied with long chats with family.

Photobucket
So, tonight, I'll serve up my holiday special--family style:

Photobucket
Following a sip & see hosted by my mom for all her girlfriends to see her four new grand babies, the sisters went over to Amy's, for its a rarity to have us all under one roof. We chatted, ate peppermint bark, and went through her mile-high stack of Christmas cards.

Photobucket
The way I see it, Christmas Eve is the best pre-game of the year. At least in my family, we feast. My brother Jimmy, chef extraordinaire, concocted this salad made out of all my favorite fresh ingredients--arugula, pine nuts, goat cheese, red bell peppers, and smoked salmon all generously tossed in warm, homemade bacon dressing.

Photobucket
Erin made Pioneer Woman's famous crash hot potatoes.

Photobucket
which went splendidly with Chris's roasted brussels sprouts

Photobucket
and mama's beef tender, which was topped with Jimmy's mushroom reduction gravy.

Photobucket
The kids stayed up way past their bedtime.

video

but entertained us all night long. Must watch! 

Photobucket
And we all enjoyed having these two back for the first time in four years! Especially with their newest addition to the clan, Alexander the Great.

Photobucket
Santa came that night and did us all real good.

Photobucket
He met all my girly needs with jewelry, clothes and personalized stationary. And Erin, my sibling secret Santa, got me a tool to make the "perfect" bun, among other lovely items.

qXRk3p on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif
After a tiresome workout of untying ribbons, tearing paper and showing off new loot, we nourished our selves with made-to-order omelettes, Cinnabon rolls, fruit and a trough of bacon. In this household, we are no strangers to good food, great fun and a whole lotta family--the latter of which is truly a priceless gift. Dallas 'til the New Year! See you in 2013!


Merry Christmas

12.24.2012

Photobucket
Photobucket
from my family to yours!



Most Wonderful Time

12.21.2012

Photobucket
{I've spent some time in Santa's workshop, adding to the impressive collection of gifts under our tree}
I've had an idyllic week at home. Family has been slowly trickling in and in the meantime, I've taken on the role as Chief Elf to my mom as her to-do list grows especially lengthy come this time of year.

Photobucket
Not much changes from year to year, but I think that's what we love about Christmas--the familiarity and comfort accompanied with the subtle twists on tradition. Feliz Navidad will always be a classic, the thrill of hearing the UPS man ring the doorbell doesn't fade, and year after year, we complain about the same madness at The Galleria. And we go anyway.

Photobucket
While many a college student experiences mild symptoms of depression when suddenly the magic of Christmas has dulled, I have seven little ones that keep the magic and excitement alive and well. That, among many other things (like my favorite four-legged friend), makes this the most wonderful time of the year.

For today, it's merry merry from Midland, until Christmas Eve Eve!


Emerald City

12.20.2012

Photobucket
So often we think of the reds associated with Christmas--the rich hue on the petal of a poinsettia, the fur that makes up Santa's suit, or Rudolph's "very shiny nose." We mustn't forget about ruby red's partner in crime, O Christmas tree green. And it just so happens that the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013 (as mentioned here) is none other than emerald green.

Photobucket
I guess I'm following suit with this trend, as I chose OPI's Cuckoo for this Color for my nails in spirit of the holidays. I thought it would compliment my holiday festive attire for a debutante presentation I'll be attending this weekend in West Texas, where I'll be wearing a red dress.

Photobucket
I've always been partial to an emerald over a ruby or a sapphire when I gaze at a jewelry collection in a department store holding all the special gems.

Photobucket
Perhaps it's the Irish blood in me; in any case, I hope the dominating presence of this color all year will bring us the luck, prosperity, hope and rejuvenation anyone would hope for.

Photobucket
Pantone projects you'll start seeing this regal shade of green in more places than just lush green landscapes,

Photobucket
the birds of a feather,

Photobucket
Starbucks signs,

Photobucket
the signature Perrier bottle,

Photobucket
wreaths,

Photobucket
and Christmas trees...sorry, HAD TO.

Photobucket
Interior design,

Photobucket
Photobucket
exterior design,

Photobucket
car manufacturers,

Photobucket
and of course men's

Photobucket
and women's fashion labels, take note of this annual color trend,


Photobucket
and incorporate it into their products.

Photobucket
It will pop up on your plate,

Photobucket
hang from your ceiling,

Photobucket
sit pretty in a vase,

Photobucket
provide soles for your feet,

Photobucket
hold your bubbly

Photobucket
and/or your belongings,

Photobucket
Photobucket
dazzle the runways,

Photobucket
or your closet,

Photobucket
provide your vitamins,


Photobucket
and keep you warm.


Photobucket
Fun fact: the human eye sees green more than any other color in the spectrum. So, this should be an easy adjustment for us all.

Photobucket
I simply suggest you be mindful of this color, which supposedly will promote "balance and harmony" as we head into this new year.