Thursday, June 23, 2016

Birthday Threads

Matt got a sweet smoking jacket from Sandi for his birthday.  I need a swanky dress now to wear next to him!

  Ariana made him a little birthday art.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

15 Years Ago Today...

 I took Matt on a surprise date to celebrate our first meeting 15 years ago today.  As many of you know we were introduced by his ex girlfriend who brought Matt to church to meet me.  That same day we each attended the evening worship service and volley ball afterwards. This is where we started getting to know each other.  He even took me for a little ride on his motorcycle around the church campus and then we went to his place and watch So I Married An Axe Murderer- on VHS.  On our first date was later that week.  We went to his soccer game and to PF Changs for dinner afterwards.   So to memorialize all this my secret date took us to PF Changs- via motorcycle- for lunch and then over to Anthony's Cigar Lounge afterwards for an after meal cigar digestive.  We had a lot of fun talking about our memories of all of this over lunch and cigar.  Then we ended the evening by watching Axe Murderer which I had gifted to him at lunch.  Good memories!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Classic Cat Behaviors: Pile O' Purrs

We often times find our cats sleeping together.  We call this "pile o' purrs." 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dad Would Have Been 70

 My Dad would have turned 70 today!  

These are some pictures my sisters and I shared over text today as we remembered him on his birthday.  

The first picture is one of my favorites of him.  It was taken at my wedding.  

The second picture is taken around that same time. (As a side note my cute little nephew Jace, pictured on the left, turns 18 next month!)

The third and fourth pictures are of him and the different bands he was in, Dave Dudley's Road Runners and then his own band, the Country Squires.He was a drummer and a singer.

I miss him so much.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Happy Mother's Day, McMom!

Flowers, Mama's Pizza, and a bottle of Sangiovese for McMom!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Guess Who?

Matt's Grandfather recently died and as McMom was going through his things she came across this great picture which we now possess. 

Can you guess who?

Sandi and Bill when they were first married!

2nd Annual Blessing of the Vines

We had the second annual Blessing of the Vines with the Janks and Kruis families.  Matt roasted a 5 pound beef tenderloin to perfection in Sharptooth's Inferno along with some baked potatoes and corn on the cob.  I baked some superb pain au levain and we had 2 fantastic bottles of wine, the Fugitive, a petite sirah blend from Dry Creek, and J2:10, a cabernet & nebbiolo blend from Mexico.  Ryan brought the J2:10 and made us figure out the signigficance of the name.  A fantastic wine and brilliant name!

We lost 3 vines over the winter and so asked the Very Reverend Phil to bless all the vines this year! ;)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Working Towards the Oven...

 Thought it would be fun to document some the steps I am taking as I pursue a future in baking.  I have recently taken a second job doing product promotions to make extra money in hopes of buying a deck oven.

I have also started working on my boss to see if I would be able to sell bread in front of the store.  My goal is to bake my way into her heart so I made her a beautiful crusty loaf of sourdough, wrapped it up and brought it to her at work. 

She was having a bad day and in a terrible mood the day I gave it to her and asked her about my idea (gulp).  But I learned the next week that she loved the bread, and ate half of it on the way home from work the day I gave it to her.  She also seemed amenable to my bread selling idea and said she will ask her boss.

Classic Cat Behaviors: The Look

I call this look "Batman."  Sharptooth used to do it too.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bread Dreams...

 Dreaming about buying this...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Beta Radio House Gig

  Beta Radio has lately become one of my favorite bands.  I found them last year on Noisetrade and was so excited to get word that they were doing a house gig tour and coming to Tucson.  Matt and I went and really enjoyed the intimate environment as these 2 guys played for about 30 people in someone's living room.  These guys sing and play just as well live as they do on their albums.  Afterwards we got to meet them and tell them how much we enjoy their music and got a tour poster signed. Great show! 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ladies Book Club on the Art Wall

 My Ladies Classics Book Club made it on the art project wall that Cindy Visser arranges at church.  For the Lent season Cindy decided to photograph the different ministry groups at church and ask the members what they are learning about Jesus in their particular group.  Then she hung up a photo of each group with the responses surrounding it.  Cool idea and great job Cindy!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Communion Ministry

Matt and I are in charge of the Sunday morning communion ministry at our church which means we set it up and tare it down.  Since we have taken it over we have been pleased to make some improvements to the system.  We upgraded the wine to Port and finally after a few years of offering to make the communion bread (instead of using matza crackers) Pastor Phil said yes.  Palm Sunday was our first service with real bread followed by Maundy Thursday.  It is an honor to make the bread for the most important meal a Christian consumes!   

Thursday, March 24, 2016

14 Years!

Happy Anniversary to us! We decided to celebrate at home because I had to work during the day and we didn't want to be rushed in our evening.  We started out on the patio having a very special bottle of Champagne, Krug Grande Cuvee, to celebrate our marriage with as we exchanged gifts.  Then we had a lovely dinner with thick cut filet mignons that Matt grilled to perfection.  We accompanied such a fine piece of meat with an equally fine wine- a 2005 Souverain Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  Praise be to God for 14 years!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Classic Cat Behaviors: In the Sink

He doesnt't even care if I've just brushed my teeth...

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bread Baking Class with Local Baker

 I took a bread class from local baker Don Guerrathis week.  It took place at the UA farms on Campbell.  He had us sit in groups of 3 and make dough together that we developed throughout the 4 hour class.  At the end of the class each group divided their dough into 3 parts and each person had a beautiful round to take home and bake off later that day.

Don is a very down to earth, friendly and joyful baker.  He did some lecturing, some demonstration and answered countless questions on bread baking.  The class had about 30 attendees.  Most were older and a varied level of baking experience was present.

Don provided us with a spread of bread he baked that morning, cheese, fruit and nuts to munch on during the class.  But the best thing he gave us (to my surprise)  was a big hunk of his unbelievably delicious smelling sourdough starter to take home and continue baking with.  His starter smelled so good I could have eaten it raw. 

 I have already baked with his starer this week and made the best tasting, most beautiful breads I have made to date.  And I discovered nothing goes better with a piece of sourdough bread than a glass of traditional method sparkling wine.  Oh all the bread, toast, and yeast!!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentines Date

Pizzeria Bianco is purported by Peter Reinhardt (my favorite baker and bread expert) to be the best pizza in the country.  It is located in Phoenix, Arizona and has recently opened a new location in Tucson.  I have been wanting to go there for months and  this is where Matt took me on our Valentines date.  Afterwards we went out for a night cap at Tap & Bottle and followed that up with hot tub and our favorite Baskin Robbins ice creams at home.  A wonderful evening. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentines Dance

Matt got to take Ariana to her school Valentines dance for the second year in a row. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Trivia Night Calls for Bread

Our church has a trivia night every year where we team up and compete to see who knows the most amount of trivial information.  This year's trivia night included a spaghetti dinner beforehand.  Matt and I were privileged to be able to provide the bread for the dinner. Fortunately it turned out that I was off work the day before and was able to make all the dough Saturday.  Then on Sunday after church we came home, fired up the oven, and baked all 13 loaves in the brick oven.  Any time we can practice baking in the brick oven is a good thing since a brick oven you build yourself does not come with instructions  and a lot of trial and error takes place.  We didn't know how many people were coming or how much bread they would eat so we made 6 baguettes and 7 round loaves. A little over half of the bread got eaten with the dinner.  At the end of the night one person told us the prize for the winning team should have been the leftover loaves!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Visitors from Frozen Tundra Seek Refuge in Arizona!

My Mom and my nephew Levi finally came down for a visit.  Levi was here with his family last Christmas but my Mom has not been here in 3 years so it was great fun to have her and show her all the things we have done to the house and yard since she was last here.  
We spent most of the time relaxing, eating and watching movies.  We didn't want to put her to work too much but we did need a few Mom treats like what you see pictured here: her famous chicken salad and her delicious beef short rib and dumpling soup which I have named "Soup of the Meaty Bones."  When we could get her out of her chair and away from crocheting dozens of dishcloths we took her and Levi to the Gaslight Theater to see a fun production of "The Cisco Kid" which we all enjoyed. 
Levi, who is turning 14 in a few months, is almost as tall as Matt already!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

New Recipe of the Week: Chickpea Curry with Rice

My friend Betsy and I both really love to cook.  In order to spur each other on in cooking new things we decided to take turns picking a new recipe of the week which we give the other each Sunday and both cook during the week.  FUN!  

I thought it would be fun to keep track of what we cook each week by posting a picture of the plated recipe, a link to the recipe and a short review.

I chose the first recipe which was an easy chickpea curry from Ree Drummond.

4 out of 5 stars.  I really enjoyed this recipe.  It was fast, simple and very flavorful.  Using the coconut cream from Trader Joes made the sauce so silky.  It paired perfectly with a semi-seco Cava from Spain which tempered the spiciness.  I will definitely make this again.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

In Honor of the Sharptooth

One year ago today we had to put Sharptooth to sleep.  We decided from now on we would honor him by drinking our very favorite wine of all time each year on this day.  We have a little less than one case left and it is a 2007 so we will see how it fares over the years.  

We miss you buddy and hope for a reunion in Glory.