Monday, March 31, 2014


You have taken a new interest in coloring and drawing, which I am glad for.  On this day, spring is new and young and she brought blue skies and pleasant breezes.  You spent hours outside playing, drawing, and coloring.  I love that we can see your bare toes, a sign of warmer weather.

Monday, March 24, 2014


The son that never sleeps.  You must have had a busy weekend.  Playdates, soccer, running fields.  We estimate that you ran 1/2 mile after your soccer game.  We came home and began quiet time and you slept for 3 hours!  You hardly ever nap but when you do, you make it count!  (I love the indentions on your cheek)

Monday, March 17, 2014


The air was cool enough to open the windows and let the house breathe in the fresh air.  You and your "cat brother" have become great pals as of late.  You guys are enjoying the cool breeze and each others company.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

houston livestock show and rodeo

We began Spring Break with a visit to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  I haven't been to the rodeo in at least a decade, which is strange to say out loud.  I used to go every year in my high school and college days.  I don't know why I quit going.  It could have been that I stopped listening to country music all together and wasn't prodded into going by the radio station.  Or, because I bit into a raw chicken on a stick one year and fell violently ill.  That, by the way, was when my husband and I had just started dating.  Can we say embarrassing?   Most likely it was because I had to grow up and work during the time the rodeo was in town.  Who knows.  We made it this year however, and had a great time!
 My, what long lashes you have...tell me your secret.
There was big primping-doesn't she look sweet
 There was warmth...I'll keep ewe warm. Yes! Pun intended!
 There were stoic leaders
 There were delicious treats to be eaten, which I did not partake...Lent...Funnel Cake...Lent...Funn...(pathetic sigh)
There was the cutest cowgirl, my niece.
 There was the bravest mutton busting cowboy in town, my nephew.
 There was my cowboy...
who was actually the city slicker covering his nose throughout the livestock arena.
And of course, there was the ever dreaded, famously despised, nightmare called Houston traffic. (another sigh and maybe a rise in blood pressure)


This is a picture of you finishing off a funnel cake at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.  You had a blast with your Grammie and Papaw and played with your cousin Trace for hours upon hours this past weekend.  You always have such a good time on your visits.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

a fat tuesday chicken & andouille gumbo

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo:  A labor of love but oh so worth it!
As a girl from southeast Texas, I have had a lot of Cajun/Creole influence in my food.  I consider myself to cook non-regional cuisine most of the time, but Cajun cuisine finds its way to my kitchen often.  One thing I love to cook is my Dad's gumbo.  I think it may be one of the only meals in his repertoire.  He usually serves a big pot of gumbo on Christmas Day and it is so warming and delicious to eat on a cold winter's day.  As we find this Fat Tuesday a chilly one here in the south, I think it would be fitting to warm ourselves up with a scrumptious bowl of gumbo.
File powder, chopped parsley and green onions are tossed to enhance even more flavor.
This chicken and sausage gumbo has tons of flavor.  As long as you are patient with your roux and get it dark enough, you will be rewarded with a hearty Cajun stew enriched with deep, rich flavor.  A final addition of  earthy sassafras, parsley and green onions adds fresh flavor and a pop of color.

Happy Fat Tuesday. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Chicken & Andouille Gumbo
serves:  6-8

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
12 ounces andouille, large dice
4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon Cajun/Creole seasoning
1 cup flour
2 cups yellow onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
9 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon file powder
Serve with White Rice
  1. In a large dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage and cook until well browned.  Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.  Set sausage aside.
  2. Season the chicken with Cajun/Creole seasoning and add it skin(less) side down to the pot with the leftover sausage fat.  Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown.  Remove from pot and let chicken rest and cool in the refrigerator.  Set pot aside.  Do not wash out the pot.
  3. In a high side saute pan combine 1/2 cup vegetable oil and flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and slowly for 20-30 minutes, to make a dark roux-the color of a melted Hershey's bar.
  4. Once desired color has been reached, add the onions, celery, and bell pepper to stop the roux from cooking.  Saute until vegetables are translucent.  Set aside.
  5. Heat the first pot (the one the sausage and chicken were cooked in) over medium heat.  Add a splash of chicken stock to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the roux/veggie mix, sausage, salt, cayenne, bay leaves and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Slowly stir in the chicken stock, and cook, stirring until combined.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered for an hour.
  7. Add chicken to the pot and simmer for two hours, skimming off foam and fat as it rises to the top.
  8. Remove pot from heat and take chicken from the pot and place on a cutting board.  Using two forks, shred the chicken breasts.  Return the meat to the gumbo and stir in the green onions, parsley, and file powder.
  9. Adjust seasonings, with salt, pepper and/or Cajun/Creole seasonings.
  10. Serve with Rice.

Monday, March 3, 2014


This picture was taken just after you woke up from a great nights sleep.  Kidders comes to visit your bed during weekend mornings.  He is old and a trip up the stairs is actually a lot for him to conquer.  You wake up every morning in a great mood, full of energy and ready to play.  A great way to start anyone's day.