Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let’s go ‘Stros

I experienced my first Astros game yesterday. We got the invite to the game by some of Kenny’s friends, Joe and Johanna, who had some extra tickets. After K got home from work we loaded up in the car and drove down town to Minute Maid park.Minute%20Maid%20ParkFirst of all, there are so many cool buildings in this area of Houston. Lots of cool photo opportunities. We got there about half hour before it was time for the game to start so we walked to this bar call B.U.S for a couple brewskies.P7270030  It was the quintessential sports bar. The walls were covered in sports memorabilia and there were shuffle boards and pool tables galore. I was asking all about the Astros. What’s the Mascot? Astronauts. Are they good this season? They’re 2nd to last. Were they ever good? They went to the world series in ‘05.
So after   spending six dollars a beer at B.U.S, we made our way over the the stadium. We walked in through this cool entrance that took us through a bar so we took advantage and grabbed another beer to avoid the lines inside the stadium. After walking to our seats we decided it was time for some stadium food. I'd been thinking about a getting good hot dog as soon as I found out we we’re going to a game so that was what we did! And it was soooo good.

I got a star dog and Kenny got the Super Star dog (foot long). We loaded it up with chopped onion, pickle relish. jalapeno relish, mustard and ketchup. It did not disappoint. I’m craving another one just writing about it. Its hard to beat a ball park hot dog!

As far as the game went. The ‘stros didn’t do so bad. When we left in the 7th inning they were ahead 6-0. I guess they just needed a good luck charm in the audience.



Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend in the Heights

Kenny and I are getting this grilling thing down. Hmmm…not quite yet, but we did make some dang good chicken an a stick this past weekend. All it took was skewers, chicken strips and BBQ sauce and voila! Tastiness!P7240011After a week of pouring rain, the clouds finally parted for a weekend of sunshine, which was the perfect weather for some cruising in the Jeep. K took the top of the jeep for the first time since he got it back in December. He was shocked we’d gone this long without taking it off so he was pretty excited to go for a drive and so was I. It was really nice to drive through The Heights, looking at all the pretty bungalow houses and neat older homes with the sun beaming down and the wind keeping us cool. I enjoyed it so much that I took a few snap shots of us cruising around.
I’m having a great time in Houston and one of the reasons is because I love K’s neighborhood. Its an area of Houston called the Heights and is one of the coolest, most eclectic areas around. I feel so lucky that I get to enjoy so much time here. So what better place to go for our jeep ride than the Heights. We pulled down 19th street and found a parking spot and began our walk in and out of every little boutique and antique store on the street. We saw a ton of cool stuff and a few pieces we seriously considered getting, but in the end couldn’t commit to anything because there was always the thought in the back of our minds that the next store would have something even better! A lot of the stores were way expensive. It was crazy how much they would charge for a piece they probably paid next to nothing for. But there was one store we stopped in that wasn’t so pricey. The stuff they were selling was just a cool as the other places but way more reasonable. The catch is you have to dig and the fabulous item you buy might have a little (a lot) of dust on it, but a little dirt is better than a lotta buck. They had the friendliest people working and they even offered us ice cold cokes as soon as we walked in the door. We’ll definitely be making a few trips back to this place, The Stardust.
P7250024 Our last stop on our antique excursion was this place that specialized in the unique as you can see by the living room set that for some reason couldn’t convince Kenny to buy. I thought it was pimptastic. P7250025 So we didn’t make any purchases but still had a GREAT time looking at all the neat stores. (Neat- we used that word about 1000 times today) We finished up our fun day with yummy salsa and chips at Cedar Creek Cafe and some Ms. Pac Man action! Kenny totally kicked my butt.
P7250027 P7250028
It was a good Sunday in the Heights!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Poco Bueno...just a little bit of fun!

This past week Kenny and I have been on the Texas coast for one of the biggest fishing tournaments in the country, Poco Bueno, but all the locals refer to it as simply Poco. Its practically a state holiday around these parts and I can definitely see why.

For as long as I've known Kenny, I've known about this tournament and about how much his family is in to it. They all come together for the festivities so I was excited/nervous about meeting the rest of his bunch. I was happy to find out that his brother and sister are just as great as he described and his parents were as welcoming as ever.

To give you an idea of how the week goes for Poco, every night there is a huge feast that is provided for all the fishermen and there significant others. I'm talking about the kind of food that makes you nearly comatose after finishing the meal because you've eaten so much so fast because its so good.
 Let me see if I can remember the menu for the week

Wednesday: Fillet Mignon, fried oysters, grilled veggies, salad, apple and peach cobbler

Thursday: Fried Chicken, Black Eyed Peas, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Pulled Pork Quesadillas and an assortment of cookies

Friday: Chicken and Steak Fajitas with all the appropriate fixins and banana pudding parfait and key lime pie

Saturday: Every type of BBQ including ribs, brisket, turkey...coleslaw, potato salad, salad and for dessert...lemon bars, pecan pie and chocolate brownies.

Can you tell the food was one of my favorite parts!

On top of all that goodness, there was an open bar.

It was a big Party!

As for the tournament part of this giant party, all the teams left on Thursday evening after dinner and were gone until Saturday night unless they caught a big Blue Marlin. Kenny's team didn't get to come back early but not because of lack of fish. According to him, they caught a Grand Slam on Saturday which is a blue marlin, a white marlin and a bill fish. None of the three were big enough to keep but it was still a rarity to catch all three in one day. The next day of fishing was full of "meat" fish. That's the kind of fish you can eat. The name may seem obvious to some, but it didn't click with me. They were catching so many dolphin and wahoo that they had to start throwing them back.

A few shots from off shore

 Ain't he cute
he's a great angler
look at all that meat

Well no money was won by Kenny's team but that's okay. He said as far as fun goes this was one of the best fishing trips of his fishing career. There's always next year!

Even though I had fun hanging out at the beach and La Cantina while Kenny was off fishing, I was super excited for him to get back. I felt like Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic, the part where she briskly walks through town to jump into arms of her man. I couldn't get to him fast enough!

It was time for a night of good food, good drinks and good music! Oh and can't forget the good company! I had a fantastic first Poco Bueno and am looking forward to many more!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grill Master

We've talked about wanting a grill for almost a year and this past Sunday we finally got one!! We made an afternoon out of putting in together. We grabbed some refreshments changed into out bathing suits and began. 

He was in charge of assembly and I was in charge of reading the instructions. It only took us 2 hours to get it together.

We christened the grill with some bacon wrapped shrimp with cheddar and jalapenos! Delish!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Kind of Fishing

This past weekend, K and I decided to drive down to the coast on saturday to collect driftwood on the beach. I'm interested in doing something creative with the driftwood but it is going to take a few more trips to collect enough to do what I want. We didn't know what to expect when we got out there so we weren't prepared for all the obstacles that came with collecting the wood. The number one problem were the bugs! We were eaten alive out there while digging through all the debris, so next time we'll wear more bug spray and probably more clothing. It was also hot, hot, hot and the beach was a little crowded. But still, we got a few good pieces.
We didn't bring anything to hold the wood either so we ended up using this bait basket that was in the debris.

After giving the mosquitoes on the beach a good snack, we headed back in for dinner. When it turned dark, K suggested that we go night fishing off the peer in front of the house. I don't usually have much luck with fishing, but I figured I'd give this a try. He demonstrated how to cast the line and he made it look so easy. I was ready for my turn and quickly figured out casting this thing is not as easy as it looks. My first cast went about two feet and we laughed. My second cast went maybe 4 feet and I apologized for not getting it. On my third try it went a whopping 8 feet out into the water and I grunted in frustration and started to reel it in when all the sudden I felt a big tug! "Oh my god, I got a bite!" I started reeling and this fish was not going down without giving a good fight. Kenny kept encouraging me to fight it while trying to keep me from tangling the line or messing anything up. It felt like I was reeling in a 10 pounder. After a bit of a struggle, I finally got my "giant" fish in sight. K grabbed the net at pulled it out! 
I was super excited! I hooked a fish with out even trying. I like to think I'm just a natural. 

Come to find out, the fish wasn't that big. It was about a 17 inch redfish but I was still proud of myself. I'm also proud of myself for holding it for this picture (another first for me).
I told Kenny that I'm now ready to get back out on the boat for some real fishing! I'm chasing that thrill of getting a big bite!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Night at the Theatre

About a year ago, I read a book called The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The book is written by Stieg Larsson who sadly passed away in 2004 before the book was published. Dragon Tattoo is the first of a trilogy that centers around a young girl name Lisbeth Salander who is brilliant but has suffered a lot for her young age. The trilogy is a full of suspense and mystery with the intrigue of human relationships mixed in. 

Which brings me to the point of this post. Following a yummy supper at our favorite Mexican place The Teotihuacan, we stopped to pick out a movie at the fabulous Red-Box, my boyfriend, Kenny pointed out this movie:
notice the text is Swedish, it's a Swedish film with English subtitles

 And I got really excited! But after about five minutes of searching through the Red-Box the movie wasn't available! So we scooted over to Blockbuster and it was all checked out. I was a little disappointed. With my curiosity peaked, the next day I did some research for the reviews of the movie and came across a theatre that is still showing the film.

Its a small historic theater that was built in the 1930's with 3 screens. Its called the River Oak Theatre and is part of the Landmark Theatre group which supports small theatres across the country that show foreign and independent films. So I jumped on the chance to see a showing of The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo and purchased two tickets online.

I wanted to make sure we made it there in plenty of time to get good seats for the 8 o'clock show so I hounded Kenny to hurry home and we left the house at 6. We grabbed a bite to eat and walked across the street to the theater. I was pumped. It looked really retro from the outside and the inside was just a cool.

We got there at 7:15, which was way early, but that was quite alright because there is a lounge style bar upstairs. You can have a drink before, during and after the movie! 

As for the movie...two thumbs up! I'm not into Twilight or Harry Potter so I was so excited about seeing a movie adaptation of a book that I actually like. He enjoyed it too, even though he hasn't read the book. I give this date night five stars!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Skrimp Tacos

Another night of cooking for the two love birds! My favorite meat to eat is shrimp. I like fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, shrimp gumbo, shrimp sushi, shrimp pasta, shrimp ramen noodles...I know, getting all bubba gumpy but the point is I likes me the shrimp. So on this night I suggested we make Shrimp Tacos and boy was that a good idea. I googled the net for a good recipe and found this one for Shrimp Tacos; but it was a little too complicated for our last minute decision so we had to make a few substitutions, all in all it was basically the same.

We made a quick run to the grocery store and picked up some fresh shrimp, avocados, limes, Herdez salsa (to replace the fancy salsa from the recipe), corn tortilla's and had everything else at the house. Oh and a 6-pack of Corona. Muy importante!!

After peeling the shrimp I tossed them in a little EVOO, Kosher Salt, and Chipotle Chili Powder and a touch of pepper. It was too easy!

Off to the pan for some sizzlin! Just 1 to 2 minutes on each side and they're done! In the mean time my sous chef was chopping the avocado, lime and cilantro and cooking the corn tortillas on the stove.

After an amazingly short amount of prep and cook time we we're ready to eat. We prepared our plates, grabbed our Corona's and sat down in front of the television for one of my favorite movies, Fried Green Tomatoes (he'd never seen it so it was especially fun).

Another successful seafood dish by us!

Conquering fears

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm an anxious person. And there are few things that make me more anxious than driving in heavy traffic. I can drive just fine in the traffic I grew up around. The kind of traffic that consists of one main, two maybe four lane, road and a bunch of small back roads. But where I'm planning on living in the near future (Houston, TX) is going to be a true test of my coping abilities! Sure I'll still have my easy back roads, but the highways here are ridonkulous

 This is at the "Oh Sh*t" Point

It seems that every time I get behind the wheel in heavy traffic, my brain shuts off and I can't think of what move to make next. The only time I consider my self a good driver is when I am mad about something. For whatever reason, when I get angry about something I grow a pair and my fear of traffic goes away...I guess I get that F**k it mentality and just go for it. But I can't stay mad all the time, so what can I do to get over my fear of driving?!? I think the obvious answer is to just get out there and throw myself into it.

The thing that would really help me in this feat would be to become more aggressive. In this type of traffic you can't be so considerate. I'm the type that assumes that somebody will eventually let me in but if you want to get in the flow in Houston you better be prepared to force your way in. 

Maybe what I need is a driving persona. A personality I can adopt when I'm driving in big cities that will allow me to be as bold as needed to weave in and out of Houston's hellacious highways! This persona needs to be an asshole who knows how to get around the rules without breaking them. She has to be impulsive and won't hesitate to make a move! She needs to be confident in her skills and act like she owns the road.

I'm picturing a bad-ass bikeresque chick with a hot-pink bandanna and a cute cropped leather jacket. Not to be too butch, she's also wearing skinny jeans and black patent leather Stilettos (not the safest for driving but she's just that damn good). 

Her name is........Sheba.

When I was a little girl, my dad used to take me to the house of  an old Chicken farmer named Mr. Hendrix, who raised all kinds of rare breeds of chickens in his backyard that were worth a good bit of money to those in the chicken business and were pretty much priceless to him. So priceless that he had a guard dog, a hundred pound pitt-bull, especially trained to protect his valuable chicks. Her name was Sheba and she was viscous. If ever some scoundrel came on to his property trying to cash in on his chickens all he had to do was utter the phrase..."Sic 'Em Sheba" and she was off, straight for the ass of the thief.

So from now on when I get behind the wheel to venture out into to the hell that is Houston, TX traffic, I'll think to myself, "Sic 'Em Sheba" and just attack it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Woohoo!! for Wahoo

One of my favorite things to do with my honey is cook a tasty meal. The dishes we've made include fried pork chops, homemade mac-n-cheese, meatloaf, fried shrimp, etc. But....I have to say, last night was one of our most successful meals. It wasn't an overly complicated dish that required tons of hard to find ingredients. It was quite the opposite. We made a simple seared fish fillet, seasoned with salt, pepper, cilantro and lemon juice; and Caesar salad.

What makes this meal so particularly tasty is the fact that the fish was the first place Wahoo in a recent off shore tournament that my honey fished. This fish paid for his team's spot in the tourny and gave him a little pocket cash to play around with. And gave us one heck of a meal!

My man was the Angler!

While he was cooking his victory fish, I tossed together a Caesar salad

FYI: I made him wear this for a photo op

It all came together so well. Delicious! not to mention healthy!

My Lone Star 4th

After a very rainy but over all fun week on the gulf coast with my family, I hopped on a plane to my home away from home, Texas! for some fun July 4th Festivities! and to celebrate 1yr with my sweetie.

Luckily the rain did not follow me and the weather was perfect for some fun in the sun with friends at good ole Sunday Beach. There were tons of boats parked three deep on the shore and there were plenty of drinks and music flowing! 

After spending the day soaking up the sun we made our way back to the house for some delicious Independence Day staples: Hot Dogs, Potato Salad and Baked Beans and a yummy homemade banana pudding all prepared by my honey's wonderfully sweet parents!

Happy 4th