Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Texas Caviar

It's the time of year when everything tastes better grilled. Fresh veggies and fruits are a staple in our house, and we LOVE our homemade salsas. Here is a divine recipe for the good ole southern Texas Caviar....the perfect appetizer for a cookout, or a bbq. And I should also mention that it is soooooo easy to prepare. If you have never tasted this delicious concoction, run, don't walk, to the grocery to whip up your first batch. You will NOT regret it.

Texas caviar
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can (drained) black-eyed peas
Mrs. Renfroe (medium) salsa (or any other 'medium' salsa)
1 Cup spicy Italian dressing
1 can bird’s eye Mexican corn (Drained)
2 avocados, diced
Tortilla scoops or Frito scoops
Combine Ingredients. Serve with Tortilla or Frito scoops.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lovely weekend in May

My bday/mother's day weekend was so wonderful! It was so great to have my parents come up to celebrate, and to spend time with John's family. We enjoyed some fabulous meals, a picnic at Shelby Farms, a mother's day brunch with the gals of the family, and of course some shopping! Thanks to everyone for making the weekend so special! (P.S. I was also so excited to get a new camera and a sewing machine!!)
Shopping at the Avenue at Carriage Crossings.

My wonderful parents, and my little smoosh.

Beautiful day spent at Shelby Farms.

Birthday/Mother's Day Dinner @ the Sadlows.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Neiman Marcus Cookie

Neiman Marcus cookies are divine!! Some say they are THE best chocolate chip cookies in the world. If you ever have the chance to buy one, do not hesitate. Or, you could just make a batch of these delectable goodies yourself! Here is the original chocolate chip recipe. ENJOY!!!

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)

2.Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

3.In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

4.Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. (I like to take them out now, but bake them a little longer for a crispier cookie.)

2 dozen cookies

Thursday, May 13, 2010

So BERRY yummy

For some reason, summer makes me think of Apple Pie. I don't even really like apple pie (I know...I'm not American), but I do love berries. I stumbled upon this recipe for Individual Mixed Berry Pies from the Pillsbury website, and have made them quite a few times. I made these tasty treats this past weekend, when we had my parents and in-laws over for dessert. They were a hit, and so easy to make.

I assembled them before dinner, and put them in the oven as soon as we finished eating dinner. That way, they had time to bake (about 20 mins) and cool (about 15 mins), and we had time to chat and make room for dessert. They are so cute, the PERFECT size/portion, and everyone gets their own little serving :)

The recipe calls specifically for Strawberries, Blueberries, and Raspberries, but you can really put any kind of berry in there. I had one of those frozen bags of mixed berries in my freezer, and that worked perfectly.


1 cup frozen unsweetened whole strawberries, thawed
3/4 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries, thawed
3/4 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box
1 teaspoon sugar
(Vanilla Ice Cream if desired)

1. Heat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, mix berries, 1/3 cup sugar and the cornstarch.
2. Divide berry mixture among 4 (6-oz) custard cups or ramekins.
3. Unroll pie crust on work surface. Cut 4 (5-inch) rounds from pie crust. Place each round over pie filling, draping over edges of custard cups. Cut slits on top of each. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Place custard cups on cookie sheet.
4. Bake 20 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown and centers are thoroughly baked. Cool about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
(I served mine with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on the side...perfection.)

Makeup Diaries

I have always had an interest in makeup, but it has taken me some time to really figure out how to apply it, and which colors look best on me. For example, white eyeshadow, blue mascara, and bright pink lips weren't as flattering as I thought they were when I applied this colorful combination of makeup onto my face every morning during 7th and 8th grade.

Fortunately, I have now learned better makeup techniques and what shades work best for me. Recently, I stumbled upon a blog written by makeup artist Amy Nadine, who does the makeup for Lauren Conrad, Whitney Port, and the girls of the new 90210. I began to research the beauty products that she used, especially on LC and Whit, and realized that Amy was using MARK cosmetics on the girls. It always looked so gorgeous and the products were SO affordable. I researched a little more, then ordered some products for myself to try them out!

Well, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the makeup, the cute packaging, the quick shipment, and most of all the prices!! The next day, I signed up to be a representative, and got my online boutique up and running. Mark (which is a branch of Avon) has makeup, skincare, hair care, jewelry, and clothing.....and sells everything for a great cause. Proceeds go to support the Empowerment campaign, which helps put an end to abusive relationships and also helps empower young women all over the world.

My favorite products are the:

Glodacious Illuminating Powder

Juice Gems (Fig is my fave)

I-Mark Eye Shadow

Flawless Touch Foundation

and the Have a Heart Necklace

Check out my Eboutique to shop for these amazing products! I know you will love them as much as I do!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Goin' Bananas

I've never been a huge fan of chewy/hard candy (I'd much rather have a little something dipped in chocolate), but I have always loved any candy that is banana flavored....Banana Laffy Taffy being my ultimate favorite. I also am not one to pass up banana pudding, banana cream pie, bananas foster, or just plain bananas! Can anyone guess where I'm going with this post??? A recipe, perhaps? YES! This is one of my favorite go-to recipes when I find that my fruit basket is full of mostly brown/black bananas that are starting to gross me out just a little. It is the perfect bread for breakfast or a little snack. So here it is:

Source: Macaroni and Cheesecake (and


2 eggs beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil OR applesauce
1 cup mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

For topping:

1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp white sugar


preheat oven to 325 degrees F. spray one 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
blend together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and bananas.
sift together the sugars, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
add banana mixture, and stir in pecans (if desired).
mix well. pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 1hr and 20min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
while bread is baking, stir together the 1 tbsp cinnamon and sugar. once bread comes out of oven, sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. stick bread back in a turned off oven for 1 minute.
allow to cool, remove from pan, and cut into slices.

Enjoy! (And I'm off to cut my 3rd slice for the night! Ooops! They are little slices, kind of.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The BIG 2-6

This week, I will be celebrating my 26th Birthday! It feels good, I think. This will be a big year...we will be selling our first home, moving to another state, I will start a new job (hopefully!), John will be back in school, and we will be making many new friends and memories along the way!! I have many goals that I would like to reach during my 26th year of life: I would like to run another 1/2 marathon, take more road trips, eat healthier (always a goal), visit more family, keep in touch with old friends, take more pictures, and read a book every month- and the latest Lauren Conrad novel doesn't count ;).

To help me celebrate my special day, these guys will be coming into town!

Along with this little smoosher:

And I will be spending some quality time with my dear family and friends!! I am so incredibly grateful for another wonderful year and look forward to the next one!!!