Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kimberly’s Baby Shower

Today I was blessed to be a hostess for my friend Kimberly’s baby shower.

The theme was Texas casual and it was a really fun menu to plan.

The Menu

  • Jalapeno Popper Dip With Texas Crackers
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Cole Slaw
  • Pea Salad
  • Pulled Pork Sliders
  • Potato Chips
  • Texas Sheet Cake & Bluebell Ice cream
  • Iced Tea

(Oh my, it was all so good. Recipes people! I want recipes!)

As usual I am in complete awe of the creativity and thoughtfulness of my sweet friends, they really do the most amazing decorations and tablescapes…

White daisies in mason jars, bandana’s and burlap, quilts and stars, – it all came together so beautifully! Great job ladies!

Being decidedly non-crafty I brought food. (Slider recipe is one post down)


The front door


The mantel


Diaper Cake




Hostesses (minus Tiffany!)

From left: Jasmin, Theresa, Candice, Kimberly, Lisa, Jessica, me. (dang I’m short, huh?)


Favorite shot of the day:


And I was even given a bunch of daisies to take home with me!


Pulled Pork Sliders

There is a Houston restaurant called Barnaby’s that I love. And they serve two sandwiches that are probably my two favorite sandwiches ever. The trouble is deciding between the two; one is a shredded smoked chicken with BBQ sauce – the BBQ sauce is light, vinegary and not too thick.  The other is a pork torta (like a Cuban, only Mexican and without the pickles) with this sauce – perfectly sweet and creamy.  I can never choose, they are both incredible. Then one day, Will and I had the bright idea to each order one and split them so we could each have both. Oh my. 

And that is where I got the idea to try and marry the perfect BBQ sandwich with the perfect Pulled Pork Carnitas style torta.  What I ended up with is a pulled pork that is part carnitas, part Cuban, part Texas BBQ – served up with a mojo inspired mayonnaise. YUM.

The Pork:

Into a crock pot layer the following:

1 Vidalia or 1016 (sweet) onion sliced into rings, (this should cover the bottom of the pot, don’t let the meat touch the bottom)

5 pounds center pork loin. (I bought two and it was enough for 25+ servings, if you make less, still keep the proportions the same, just adjust the water – the point is to cover the pork)

1 bottle of BBQ sauce (something cheap, you will use 2 total and the first one ends up being a cooking liquid that gets dumped and the second is just a base, you will be adding stuff to it to build up the flavor. I used HEB store brand for .79 each)

1 bottle of beer (or just add more water if you don’t drink. I used Shiner Wild Hare)

1 BBQ bottle’s worth of water

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Carefully remove the pork and shred it using two forks. It will just fall apart

Pull out any fat and discard.



1 hour before serving –  Put shredded pork back into crock pot.

  • Add 1 bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 C dark brown sugar
  • 2 T Lowry's Seasoning Salt
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 T red wine vinegar (or whatever kind you have)
  • 1 T dry mustard.

Taste it, see what it needs and adjust it to make it how you like it.

Set it on low and heat for around an hour until serving time.

Mojo Sauce:

  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 6 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/3 C juice (I used apple cider because it is what I had, orange would be better)
  • 1/3 C fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t ground cumin

Heat olive oil in  a small sauce pan. Add everything else and stir. Cook on low about 2 minutes, stirring until it comes together and is fragrant. It will look weird. That’s OK.


Pull off heat, put in bowl and let cool.  After it has cooled, add 1/3 C mayonnaise. Whisk and pop into fridge to let the flavors come together.

The Buns

I used store-bought Hawaiian buns. These get a sweetness when toasted that went well with the acid in the meat and sauce.  I also think Homemade hamburger buns would rock. Or corn tortillas. Or pita pockets…or heck just get a fork and stand there in your PJ’s and eat some (not that I did that or anything)

Split and spray with Pam or a little melted butter, then toast, split side up on a jelly roll pan about 8 minutes on 350 – just until the inside gets a little toasty and will stand up to the mojo sauce.

Coat each side with mojo-mayo sauce, then add shredded pork and serve.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

I would like us to all observe a moment of recognition that I am, in fact, actually blogging a holiday in a timely manner! Oh YEAH baby!!!   uhem.  OK.

First, Palm Sunday.



Our palms broke on the way home in the car (awww… or not so awww, depending on if you are a kid or a parent)

Easter Sunday we like to go to sunrise service. There’s just something great about worship, breakfast, egg hunt and then we change back into jammies and crawl back into bed at like 10:30 AM. Hah!


After the service we drove over to where some bluebonnets grow. It was early and the light was nice and the kids were dressed up. I know we sort of missed prime bluebonnet time but I wanted to get what we could.





After that we went to Denny’s and had breakfast.

Then we had our egg hunt at home in the back yard.


oh the drama of being four.




(Oh can I just say I am really glad to be wearing make up again!!!)


After the hunt we settled the kids in with a movie and Will and I went back to bed.

This is probably my favorite Easter tradition. hah.

Later we had a scaled down Easter dinner – honey ham and green bean casserole followed by Cadberry eggs for dessert. It was just us, the kids had leftover spaghetti. Our day was very casual. I actually truly napped TWICE today!

In the evening we dyed eggs and then we played in the back yard.


We have a lot of lizards. I love this one, he lives by the water hose, his name is Hermit.  Hermit is in the midst of shedding his skin. Doesn’t he just seem itchy and miserable? Look at the bright lovely skin underneath! Don’t you want to to just reach out and help him out? Don’t you want him to just hurry and be free of that old skin? I can’t wait to see him when he is all fresh and new. He just seemed like a good reminder of what Easter should be about.


You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours
What does that make me?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

In Between Time

So what to listen to on this Saturday; this suspended, in-between day, hanging in the balance between Good Friday and the awakening. The history changing circumstance altering heart stopping my life changingness that is Easter? 

I choose this:


I felt it first when I was younger
A strange connection to the light
I tried to satisfy the hunger
I never got it right
I never got it right

So I climbed a mountain and l built an altar
Looked out as far as I could see
And everyday I’m getting older
I’m running outta dreams
I’m running outta dreams

But Your love
Your love
The only the thing that matters is Your love
Your love is all I have to give
Your love is enough to light up the darkness
It’s Your love
Your love

All I ever needed is Your love

You know the effort I have given
And you know exactly what it cost
And though my innocence was taken
Not everything is lost
Not everything is lost nooooo

You’re the hope in the morning
You’re the light when the night is falling
You’re the song when my heart is singing
it’s Your love
You’re the eyes to the blind man
You’re the feet to the lame man walking
You’re the sound of the people singing

Your love is enough to light up the darkness
It’s Your love
Your love
all I ever needed is Your love
But Your love
(Your love is all that I needed)
The only the thing that matters is Your love
Your love is all I have to give
Your love is enough to light up the darkness
(Your love is all that I needed)
It’s Your love
Your love
It’s all I ever needed


Near the beginning of the month the azaleas were blooming. Azaleas are one of many “Houston Things” that I have learned about and enjoy, I guess we must have them in Austin, but I can’t remember them ever being a big deal there.

Sadly our own azaleas in our yard didn’t bloom this year (freeze? drought? I don’t know. The bushes are green and seem fine, but no blooms) but the ones at a park near our house were breathtaking.

I am struck by how amazing it is to be surrounded by such beauty, just a few paces from my house. What a remarkable thing that is, and yet we mostly drive past it never stopping, never noticing.


Bella received some correction before these were taken and had been drinking red Gatorade, so she looks a little “off”, it was kind of a stretch for her to even take any pictures, poor girl. But oh, those eyes, that messy auburn hair – how I love this little girl!


Jacob looks so much like my brother in this one:


Composition wise, this next one has issues, all the light is on the right side, , there’s too much tree on the left, too many vertical elements distracting from the subject. But, oh, as a Mommy, I love it!



Ah, there’s a smile….


My two favorites of the series:



Mathew 6:28 Consider the lilies. While the lilies do not toil or spin, they do their work, draw up sustenance from the earth, and drink in the dew, rain and sunbeams. So we are to do our appointed work. It we do this, trusting in God, he will supply all our needs.

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