Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Tamale Tradition

Every year my mom and her 3 sisters get together and make tamales. I think it is very important for us to be able to pass on this tradition to our children. This year D and I decided this was a great year to learn how to make tamales from my mom.


The below pics were taken on November 30th, we made 20 dozen that night. And were there for only about 4 hours.


Don't mind my bandana, it's a requirement when making tamales. :)
I helped my mom with the masa--
she added the ingredients, while I mixed it all together.

It's harder than it looks...
We couldn't get a hang of putting the masa on the corn husks.

We were taking too long on getting them done,
thank goodness Mom was there or we would've been there all night!


D found what he was best at--flavoring the pork and deer
and filling the husks with the meat.

All done!

My neck & back were aching from mixing that masa. :)

D, Me & my Mom


Then, we made more on December 8th. We made ~50 dozen that night. It was a long day this time around, we were there for about 8 hours!

D doing what he does best!

Me & my dad--he decided he was going to help this time!

Even though I look really uncomfortable in this pic,
I finally got the hang of filling the husks with masa!

We made a mess!

We had been there all night and began to hallucinate a little bit. ;)

I've gotta say our tamales are the best I've ever had! Usually my mom & her sister's tamales are really great, but ours were spiced perfectly (thanks to D!). We gave a few dozen to D's parents and to some of his co-workers. And we still have a few dozen in our freezer. ;)

The most fun of this whole experience was getting to reminisce with my mom about the past and hearing her stories about making tamales with her mom.

We love you Mom! Thanks for the lesson! We look forward to doing it again next year. XOXOXO

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Our Christmas

We woke up around 8am and started preparing for the day. D of course did most of the work and I kept the house clean and ready for our family.

D checking on something in the oven and I'm taking an Airborne.
Mmmm food!

Yum--duck!

Tree, Gifts, my beautiful Poinsettia and that poundcake was fabulous!

My sis' and nieces--it's rare when Gabi (on right) smiles!

My sis' and her family!

Yum, green beans & pancetta, carrots & parsnips, dressing, & mashed potatoes!

D--plating up ham etc.
Is there a doctor in the house? My nephew Ethan.

How about a nurse? My niece Sofia.

My bro and his family (2 oldest are from his wife's 1st marriage)

My wonderful parents!

Passing out gifts

The kids patiently waiting to open gifts!

Sofia loved the gift we gave her!

My oldest niece loves Tinkerbell.

Anything green

And Pirates of the Caribbean. Also, she's into BMX--which scares me that she's doing.

See no smile, but loves purses and she quickly changed into the shirt we bought her.
It reads Naughty or Nice I still get what I want :)

Me & my sibs

Me & my family

The whole family & D's bro Chris(he's practically family by now)

Me & D

Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve was spent doing a lot of prep work for the Christmas lunch we hosted. In order to make everything on the menu, D began at 11 am on Monday and didn't finish up until 1 am!


D and the 2 chihuahuas...



I DO make my own dressing though. :)


Whew, I'm pooped--my feet were killing me!

Me & my boy!

Then, the next morning it was back to more cooking. Geez, I don't know how he does it. But I'm glad he does because that means I don't have to. ;)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

DW Knottie Gifts!

As most of you know I'm planning my wedding and I frequent TheKnot daily. Well on TK, my favorite board is the DestinationWedding board--the girls on there are the best!

Recently I participated in the Secret Santa DW knottie ornament exchange and I received these two ceramic Italian ornaments below from Claire. Aren't they cute?!
I also have a date twin (which is someone who shares the same wedding date as you). Tori gave us 2 wooden spoons and 1 spatula for Christmas (they were off my registry)--she's the sweetest!
While everyone was receiving ornaments on the DWboard and posting their ornaments for everyone to see. I saw one that caught my eye, it was an engagement ornament---it was so adorable I asked the knottie if she could buy me one and I'd send her the money. She offered to go to the mall and buy one for anyone who wanted one, she's the best! Thanks Lisa! I love it! It looks like my ring that also came in a blue box. :)


DW Knotties Rock!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Our Christmas Lunch Menu

Here it is! I can't wait, everything is going to be delicious because Chef D never fails us in the kitchen. He could seriously have gone to cooking school and become a chef!
His sweet potato gnocci is OMG to die for!
D also left out some things, I'm also making sausage balls and will attempt a pound cake.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

California Time

We've been back in Houston for a little over a year and 4 months and I'm still on California time (PST). During the week, I can't get myself to go to sleep before 11pm or 12 am. I know, it's crazy. In Cali, primetime is at 8pm and the news doesn't come on 'til 11pm. So I guess after living there for 3.5 years my body is just not used to this time zone (CST). I just know this would not be happening if I had a J.O.B. I've gotta make a change...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!


Don't mind the crooked star...D did his best with that stupid tree topper. :P

This will be the 1st year we'll be spending Christmas in our house. Last year we were fortunate to be invited to go to NYC with D's family.

So this year we are hosting Christmas lunch and we'll have my parents here, along with my siblings and their families. D's family will be spending Christmas at their farmhouse.

D is looking forward to making lunch for everyone and has even made a menu of all of the things we will be having. It's going to be so yummy! Would you like to see? Well stay-tuned. :)

This year D & I have decided not to exchange gifts with each other. We're trying to save $$$ for the big day. So we've decided to buy essentials for our trip next April, including a new camera. We may also buy us a game for our Wii (Mario Galaxy). ;)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We're 5 months out from the Big Day!

And we have so much left to do.
We have yet to book our flight to Italy, so who knows if the wedding will actually be in Italy (just kidding).

We've registered at 2 places (1 here in Houston & another in Atlanta, TX), but we need to go to a few more places here in Houston.
We plan to schedule a time for Dan to try on outfits this week. I don't know if that will actually happen.
We need to start designing our invites.
And we need to schedule a time to go to Louisiana to check out wedding bands (we can get a better deal there--I think).

Time is just flying by. I'm excited because it's getting closer, but I'm also really anxious and stressed when I think about all that is left to do.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yummy Treat for the "kids"



I found this recipe in my veterinarian's newsletter.

Pumpkin pup puffs

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups oats
1/4 cup applesauce

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet and press flat with a fork. Bake for approximately 15 minutes and then cook on a baking rack before serving. To maximize freshness, be sure to store the puffs in an airtight container.

If your dog has a pre-existing medical condition, consult your veterinarian before adding a new food to your Pet's diet.



Baby Dan looks content


Sissy, on the other hand, looks downright full

She never lies on her back for so long, I was getting worried, but she's fine