Category Archives: Family

A little something to snack on…

I’m back – for the moment, at least. I won’t promise to be consistent, because we all know my results with that are just lousy. And I hate being lousy at anything.

So today, here I am. I baked with my husband’s little sister who is visiting from Louisiana. I know, she’s technically my sister-in-law, but it’s a strange thing to call a 15 year old by that title. She’s a good, fun kid with a great sense of dry humor and a knack for saying the most unexpected things. I like her a lot. Anyway, she’s here visiting, and was telling me all about her cream puff baking odyssey which has been less than successful. I thought we would try them out here, but she can’t even look at them right now. Instead, we decided on Joy of Cooking’s Black Bottom Cupcakes with Quick White Icing (in hot pink no less). You should give them a try – they’re really good, and really easy to make.



Filed under Family, Fun Times., Recipes

Easter Menu.


For Easter, I decided I wanted to have brunch. It’s simpler, and let’s face it, a brunch just screams for a mimosa like a dinner cannot. We had friends and neighbors over, and we even had hidden Easter eggs (which, thanks to the hiding genius of our friend Shelty, we were still finding at 9:00 Sunday night). It was nice, simple and easy.

Easter Menu:

  • Glazed ham (This particular ham came with the glaze, so I didn’t make one like I normally do. Although, in the end, I did deglaze the roasting pan and add a bit of mustard and brown sugar and used that mixture for a ham “sauce”.)
  • Sausage and mushroom strata (Joy of Cooking recipe. I added sage and garlic, and I used a gruyere/swiss cheese blend.)
  • Mini quiches (thanks to Trader Joes)
  • Spinach salad with strawberries, blackberries, figs and caramelized onions with goat cheese. (My recipe, but all of the ingredients are in the name, so no secrets there. All you have to do is add a little vinaigrette and you’re done.)
  • Mixed cheese plate with marinated mini heirloom tomatoes (I just sliced the tomatoes and marinated them in olive oil, balsamic, and basil.)
  • Caramel-Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake (Bon Appetit recipe, and SO GOOD. I think the secret is the cake flour.)
  • Apple Tart (Joy of Cooking. This looked terrible – I think I did something wrong because the dang thing was so sticky you could hardly eat it.)
  • Waffles (My friends made the mix, but I thought I would add it so you could really enjoy the full brunch affect.)
  • Mimosas!

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Filed under Family, Fun Times., Holidays, Recipes

Woodrow becomes Woodreaux. And the Saints win big.

It’s been a very long two weeks since my last post. 

A very.long.two.weeks. 

Highlights include: 

  • Woodrow making the trek from Northeast Oregon to the Bay Area with no hiccups.
  • Me not killing my husband during said trek.
  • The Superbowl party of a lifetime.
  • The Superbowl win of a lifetime.
  • Woodrow miraculously passes crazy California emissions test and gets a high-five from our mechanic, Robert.
  • Woodrow makes another trek – this time up to Tahoe – with only minor hiccups.
  • I rediscover that Brandon is MacGyver when he fixes the back window (after taking the entire thing apart) – and has the patience of Job when he has to put everything back together again.
  • I don’t completely lose it when I have to spend two hours registering Woodrow at the DMV this morning. TWO HOURS. This included one of the ladies talking to me like a four year old with a listening problem. I don’t have a listening problem, by the way. I have a you-are-a-dummy-and-no-two-people-that-work-here-give-the-same-information problem. It’s like you need a secret handshake, an archaeologist and a Bible to uncover the mysterious ways of the DMV.
  • And last but not least, Woodrow officially becomes part of our Louisiana family – and therefore, he is now Woodreaux.

Hope you guys didn’t miss me too much. But dang, I missed you. 

A few pictures from the last couple of weeks (I’ll upload all of them in the next couple of days): 

From Ashland to Oakland.

From Ashland to Oakland.


From Eugene to Ashland.

From Eugene to Ashland.


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Filed under Family, Football, Fun Times., Photography, Travel, Wagoneer

The sun is a rascally thing.

Montclair graffiti.

Montclair graffiti.

We had really high hopes for Saturday, but the weather was not cooperating. I get it, I shouldn’t complain – I live in a place that is beautiful 10 months out of the year. But I was sick to death of the rain this week, and I just wanted to punch somebody when I saw the dark clouds looming. We were going to take a hike in Redwood Regional Park  (I had promised Brandon we would only take the 3.5 mile loop, but I had plans to trick him into the 5 mile loop – he’s bad with maps – but maybe the weather was just karma for being a liar). Anyway. Our Saturday out went something like this:

  • Hop on the scooter with the intention of taking a hike in the park.
  • Get delayed on the way up to the park by the rain.
  • Stop at Peet’s in Montclair and wait a while. Rediscover how super-cute Brandon looks over coffee (he thought I was teasing him, but I wasn’t).
  • Decide to take a walk in Montclair while the drizzle continues. Do silly things, like roam the aisles of Rite-Aid looking at “only on television” products like Sham-Wow and Slim-Quick (or is it “Quik”?).
  • Decide maybe the hike isn’t going to happen.
  • Eat a not-so-great lunch at Crogan’s, where they think salad shouldn’t have taste or anything other than spinach in it.
  • Jump back on the scooter and head over to College. Buy running supplies, so I don’t get hit by cars when I run in the early morning – things like a flashing light that I can clip onto myself.
  • Walk, walk, walk on College. Note the weather is clearing up and the sun is even coming out.
  • Back on the scooter and home again.

It was actually a good, solid day. I got to hang out with Brandon and do silly things, walk in the rain together and just spend some time with each other. I’ll be updating the Photographs page in just a bit with more pictures of our day (this time, I really mean I will update it – unlike last week, when I was supposed to add my cemetary walk pictures and didn’t…)

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Filed under Family

Sometimes plan, but sometimes wing it.

LSU quilt, first square.

LSU quilt, first square.


So I finished my first block of the LSU quilt, and I’m pretty happy with it. However, let me say again that I’ve never done this before, so I’m learning as I go. A couple of things I taught myself last night? 

1. It stinks when the vision you have to make something does not add up. And by not adding up, I mean…I don’t have enough fabric. 

2. It also stinks when you think all your fabric is going to match up like a nice little rectangle. And then you sew it together and it looks like a preschooler measured it. But you know what? That’s what rotary cutters and a nice ruler are for. 

3. I didn’t quite think about how the fabric would face in different directions if I didn’t pay attention (you can tell in the first picture on the left). I’m just going to go with it, because I don’t think it makes a huge difference. Besides, I kind of like the idea of the quilt being a little out of order. 

4. I’m going to need to give myself more time to finish the quilt. I’m going to need to be patient. Otherwise, I’m going to screw it up and then I’ll have to buy a quilt and tell my step-dad his LSU fabric was accidentally involved in a fire, so I had to start over. 

5. The most important lesson? Sometimes you plan, but then you have to wing it. 

A special song just for my step-dad:


Filed under Family, Handcrafted

This is my Mom. And ooo-weee does she have a mouth.

This is my Mom:

Isn’t she cute with her little fleece jacket and denim get-up? She’s usually pretty normal about things.

I called her today while I was at work – a regular check in to make sure all is well back home. I was just drinking my (Starbucks – someone bought it for me – I’m still saving!) coffee, when all of a sudden I mentioned Les Miles (enter horror music soundtrack here). I should’ve known better. I say she’s normal about most things, but Les Miles is like a thorn in her side this season. For those of you that don’t know, Les Miles is the current LSU coach, and my Mom isn’t too keen on him. And before I knew it, she pounced on him like nobody’s business.

Mom: Every time he opens his mouth, I just want to put my fist in it.

Me: Well. Okay then, Ma.

I think I failed to mention that my Mom isn’t really a Tigers fan – not like my stepdad – but man, she has some serious dislike for one Les Miles. I’d hate to see what would happen if they met in a dark alley. She’s short, but feisty, and I know better than to place my bets elsewhere.

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Filed under Family