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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Wasted Wednesday: Super fresh lemonade

Yeah, that’s not what it’s really called, but it should be.

Josh made a pitcher of this when my family came over for dinner last week, and it was such a hit that he made a second batch halfway through dinner. I might or might not have had 3 (or was it 4?) very large glasses.

Tart vodka drinks are my weakness.

This is one of my new favorites. I even went and bought a mint plant for my herb garden, mainly so we could easily make this again.

We found the recipe here, and didn’t have to tweak it at all. It was amazing, and the perfect for the summer heat.

Iced Vodka with Cucumber, Lemon, and Mint

  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 2 lemons, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 small cucumber, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups ice cubes

Mix sugar, mint, and lemon slices in pitcher, mashing slightly with back of spoon. Mix in cucumber. Let stand 30 minutes. Add lemon juice, vodka, and 1/2 cup water; stir to dissolve sugar. Chill at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Mix in ice and serve.

The street artist and the author

Over the years Allyn and I have come up with several new career and life changes that we would like to put into place. The author and street artist is one of our more recent incantations.

Inspired by a trip to New Orleans a few months ago, I decided that I should quit my job, move to New Orleans and become an artist.

You know those pieces of “modern art” that you swear you could do. Like the zoo animal art or the toddler art that sells for thousands of dollars? Yeah. Any idiot can do it and call it art, you just have to have the right spin on it.

Anyways, I decided that I have enough “skill” to become an artist and sell my “art” in the Quarter, probably at or near Jackson Square to the tourists. This would be great because I can live and work – if you call that work – in one of my favorite cities. It wouldn’t be real work because I can mess around with paint whenever I felt like it and then sell it whenever I felt like it. Mondays, I definitely wouldn’t work. Because as an artistic entrepreneur I wouldn’t have to. And Mondays are really idea for lolling about.

Also, my artistic career will lend itself to an almost constant state of inebriation. Alcoholism is okay if you are still highly functioning, right? Okay, don’t answer that it. The main point I’m trying to make is that I can drink a cocktail at 10 am if I want without the boss yelling at me. (I rarely yell at myself. It gives me a headache and cuts into my lolling about time.)

When I’m not selling or creating art, I will hang out at my dear Allyn’s mansion in the Garden District. She is a famous author, she just hasn’t published anything yet. You should look for her work in the future, when she decides to sit down and actually write something.

We will spend hours upon hours lolling about and testing new recipes to feature on Wasted Wednesdays. Her fiance will cook delicious food for us.

You might be wondering what I’ll do about my husband and pets. No worries, I have that figured out as well. Bryan, my husband, will become either a tambourine/bongo street musician or some sort of interpretive dancer. We will get to spend loads of time together as he will work close to where I sell my paintings. Our dog, Bosco, will lure tourists to either buy my art or give money to Bryan’s performances, whatever he chooses to do, as she is really adorable. The cats will love roaming the streets of the Quarter.

When we aren’t writing, creating, or performing, we will all enjoy the amazing food, music, and culture that New Orleans has to offer.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Foodie Friday: Pasta with pancetta and leeks

My parents were in town for a few days this week and we decided to have everyone over for dinner to break in the new house. I knew I wanted to make something tasty that everyone would like (six adults and two kiddos), but I also knew I wanted it to be relatively cheap and simple to make. I really didn’t feel like spending the day cooking. Not conducive for lolling.
I decided to break out my trusty adaptation of this Pioneer Woman recipe. Hers calls for a whole lotta cream and cheese and other things that are delicious, but not so great for my dairy allergic fiance, or for my desire to fit into my wedding dress in August.

My version does, however, contain a lot more wine. Win!

I increased the amounts by half for that many people, but this is normally how much I make.

Pasta With Pancetta and Leeks

  • 12 ounces, weight pasta, cooked al dente  (I used farfalle)
  • 5 ounces, weight chopped pancetta
  • 3 whole leeks, sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup dry white wine

Boil pasta and set aside.

Saute chopped pancetta until fat is rendered and it starts to brown. Add sliced leeks and cook for 8 minutes. Pour in wine, and cook til somewhat reduced. Add butter, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Pour over drained pasta, and serve.

We served this with a giant pitcher of an incredibly fresh drink (recipe to come), and the platter was scraped clean.

I think they liked it.

Linky Links

I wanted to share a couple of things I’ve come across lately.

3 Ingredient Summer Cocktails – Holy Moly! I want to try the Cherry Caipirissima asap!

Rosemary Garlic Steak – I think I’ll make the husb make this for me soon!

– As a Southerner I love a good porch.

– I plan on trying this soon for my bedroom.

This woman is so ambitious!

Now its your turn to show and tell!

Wasted Wednesday: Mambo Margaritas

I found this recipe in The Sweet Potato Queen’s Book of Love. If you haven’t read it, its a great read. Besides sweet potatoes, Jill is the queen of lolling about and has a ton of great recipes. Allyn and I both owe a lot to her.

Last summer I tried this recipe for the first time. It has become a staple at our family functions. Its very easy to make and makes a whole pitcher. Its sweet and tart and perfect for a warm summer evening outdoors.

Mambo Margaritas

1 can frozen lime concentrate
12 oz 7 up (or whatever size one can is – my grocery store refuses to stock 7up in cans, I don’t know why)
1 cup tequila, the higher the quality, the better
1 bottle of Corona

Combine all ingredients.


Treasure: A horse is a horse

Josh and I have been looking for some lamps for the new house since we moved a few weeks ago, and the other day… we found it. The most awesome, perfect lamp ever.

Yes, it’s a horse. There was much squealing and high-fiving in the aisle at Home Goods. The only thing better than the fact that it was $30 for base and lamp?


The fact that they had two (Insert more squealing and high-fiving)! We were soooooo very excited to bring these babies home and see how they looked all lit up.


They are so. freaking. awesome. We are in love. The lampshades aren’t the best ever, so at some point I’ll recover/replace them, but for now, I’m as happy as can be.

Oh Home Goods, what would we do without you?

Now to come up with names for them…

She’s Crafty: Bench Refurb

For the past couple of months I’ve kept my eye out for a bench for our bathroom. We had the perfect space for it between some storage space and the door. Plus, it’d be nice to have a spot to throw dirty clothes or towels or to sit.

Last weekend I went to a very large antique mall with my mom. She asked me if there was anything I was looking for and I mentioned the bench. We must have seen about 40 benches in the whole space (I told you, its big!) and finally happened upon this little beauty.

Let’s see, she’s:
– the perfect size
– somewhat attractive
– can easily change the fabric
– great price

So I brought her home. She was looking a little sad with age, but no worries. We have just the thing.

This stuff is awesome. You put a little on a rag and wipe on the wood. A little bit goes a long way. After you’ve done a section, wipe it with a clean rag.

See how glossy? This is wiped on, but pre-wiped off. Its not quite as glossy once wiped off.


Doesn’t it look better? It only took about 30 minutes.

Total cost break down:
– Bench: $39.95
– Howard Restore A Finish: we had it on hand so free!
– Fabric (less than 1 yard): also on hand, free

Have you done an easy furniture refurb?