Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Family photos, ramblings, and a few recipes

As mentioned in a previous post, we had some family photos taken last month. The uber-talented Ryan Price ( took our pics and if you're looking for some artsy not just your run of the mill smile at the camera photos, I highly recommend him. He's out of College Station but willing to travel. He did a great job of capturing the many faces of Cayden and really hit the nail on the head when it comes to lifestyle photography. I feel like these pictures captured our family well...if that makes sense. Here are just a few of our favorites.

I am finally feeling back to my old self - that stomach virus was nasty! - and now am in 'crazy we leave for vacation next week' mode. There is lots to be done and I won't bore you with those details but I did want to share a couple of recipes. For Mother's Day (which was a lovely day spent with my boys, forgive my lack of blogging about it), we had my parents over for dinner. I made salmon (Cayden's favorite - he LOVES it!), baked potatoes, fruit salad, my mom brought a veggie, and I made these rolls.

Hello love. Actually, mine didn't look like those because I don't have a rusty iron skillet, but mine came out equally beautiful in a cake pan. These are the pioneer woman's Buttered Rosemary Rolls and if you like rosemary, you will love them. I happen to love rosemary and I could eat my own weight in bread, so these are right up my alley.

  • Frozen, Unbaked Dinner Rolls (I use the Rhodes brand in the orange package)
  • Melted Butter, Regular, Salted
  • Fresh Rosemary, Coarsely Chopped (I used bottled, it was fine)
  • Coarse Sea Salt
Preparation Instructions

Spray a small iron skillet with cooking spray (or coat with olive oil). Place frozen rolls in the skillet, leaving plenty of room for rising. Cover and allow to rise for several hours. I used a round cake pan and was able to 7 in there with plenty of room for rising.

After rising (about 5 hours), brush rolls with melted butter.

Sprinkle on chopped rosemary. Brush with additional butter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake according to roll package directions, until rolls are a deep golden brown on top. Yum!

I also made a Neiman Marcus Cake. I am not nearly as sophisticated as the Pioneer Woman and I don't have pictures of all my recipes. Sorry. And I'm not sure why it's called a Neiman Marcus cake but it is, so whatever. Maybe they sell it in the restaurant there. I wouldn't know seeing as I've only eaten there like once in my life. Anyway, my sweet Larissa asked me for the recipe and instead of just emailing it to her, I thought I would post it here so other interested people can make it too!

Neiman Marcus Cake


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (16) oz. box powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 (8) oz. pkg cream cheese
Preparation Instructions

Combine cake mix, melted butter, and 2 eggs. Mix well and pat into a greased 9x13 pan. In the same bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 2 eggs; mix well. Pour over bottom layer and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Reserve 2 T. of powdered sugar for top after baking. This is an easy cake to whip up when you're in the mood for something different. I rarely make it but Collin always likes it when I do!

My birthday just happens to be yesterday (I'm still in denial that I'm 29 - had a great day, again forgive my lack of blogging about it) and we had some precious people over last night to celebrate. We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and had potato salad, cantaloupe, and strawberry shortcake. My my sweet momma made the hamburger patties - she used a recipe that some friends of ours gave us in college and I thought some other people out there in blogland might enjoy.

Zesty Hamburgers


  • Lean ground beef (not extra lean because it needs to have some fat in it)
  • Finely diced onion
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (not too much cheese because you want the patties to stay together and not fall apart on the grill)
  • Worcestershire
  • Tony Chachere (I probably butchered that spelling) seasoning
Preparation Instruction

This is the kind of recipe that I used to hate. I would call my mom from college and ask her how much of something to put in a recipe and she would say, "Ohhh, I don't know. Just do it until it looks right." It drove me nuts and now I say that all the time. I am my mother's daughter. Just add a little of everything until it looks - and smells - right. Careful with the Tony Chachere-too much makes them potent and not great. Make them into patties and stick them in the freezer for a few minutes before grilling them - it helps them to stick together.

Alright, I guess that's about it. I'm off to tackle the mounds of laundry on my playroom floor. 6 days until we leave for vacation!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Can I have a do-over for the first week of May? PLEASE!

I do not think I've ever been so happy for the weekend to come. Since I try to use this blog as a type of online journal for me, I wanted to quickly document what's been going on, although I'm sure we'll ever forget it. We got home last Sunday night from a nice few days spent with Collin's family in New Braunfels. I felt a little funny that night but thought it was my acid reflux acting up and tried to go to bed. I could never fall asleep and at about 10:30 PM, I started vomiting. And a couple of hours later, the other started. You know what other I'm talking about. Ick. Collin got sick at around midnight and we were both sick as dogs well into the morning. After about 3:00 AM, I was able to keep my vomiting at bay if I laid really still in bed. Poor Collin couldn't and he had a really rough time. I have never been so worried about him. He says he's never been so sick in his life. It was sheer misery. We had to call my parents to come get Cayden, who thankfully was acting normal but had woken up, in the middle of the night. We were convinced that it was food poisoning and I had already swarn off Cracker Barrel (where we ate lunch) in my mind. About 7:00 AM, I called Clint to come get us and take us to the doctor. After shots of phenregen and three rX each, we were back home. Clint called in the meds, went and got them, made sure we took them on time, brought us drinks, got us wet rags for our heads, fluffed our pillows, got us blankets, you name it he did it. He even picked up the house for me. He spent all day Monday at our house, spent the night in our guest room, and spent half of Tuesday. Now THAT is a friend. And I cannot leave out his sweet wife and my most precious Larissa. She came over Monday night to bring Clint food and picked up some more of Cayden's things and drove them out to my parents house. Not to mention sacrificing being a single parent Monday night while she let us borrow her hubby. We are blessed beyond measure by the selfless family and friends that the Lord has blessed us with. My parents are amazing and we couldn't ask for better friends than the Simpson's. Anyway- back to my story. Among the zillion things that Clint was doing during his stay at our house, he was also holding onto our cell phones fielding all calls. He informed us Monday evening, once we emerged from our room, that Cayden indeed had been throwing up along with most of Collin's immediate family. Cayden seemed to have a minor case and my mom said he was doing much better that evening. My heart still ached that I wasn't with him when he was sick. Collin's parents and brother were at the ER in Houston and his pregnant with twins sister was in the hospital (babies were/are fine, praise Jesus). So, we then figured out it was probably a virus. The rest of the week is still a blurr. At one point we drove over to my parents house in the middle of the night to pick up Cayden because my dad came down with the virus and my mom was taking him to the ER. I feel terrible for the people that we exposed but we've been praying hard that my mom and the Simpson's won't get it. So far, they're fine - thank the good Lord. So, that has been our fun week. Collin has gone to work the past three days and is almost back to normal. I am still really weak. Not sure why it's taking me so long to recover from this but I'm feeling very wiped out. I'm eating and drinking lots and I don't hurt anywhere (except for the minor cold that I got during all the vomiting fun - when it rains it pours...what can i say) but my body feels extremely heavy and I have no energy. I have some iron supplements left over from my pregnancy with Cayden and I think I'm going to start taking them. So, there you go. It's been a week to remember...