Reenie came to Houston to help me pack and move back, she was there for a week, so I decided to give her a "Houston Bucket List" full of activities that I loved about Houston and activities that I have always wanted to do! There were A LOT of things that were left off the list because we didn't have enough time, like going to the Farmers Market, Kayaking down the Bayou, Astros Game, visiting the tunnels downtown....gahh ran out of time!
Here is a screen shot of Monday schedule! Needless to say, we slept well that night!
1st stop on her bucket list: seeing the waterwall at the Galleria. So beautiful and so picturesque! We also wandered around the galleria and 2nd was to walk past Louie Vutton, Channel and Gucci!
The Beer Can House! The history of this house:
The house and landscape are adorned with many different types of beer that John, himself, drank (though his neighbors and his wife, Mary, were always glad to lend a hand!). Did he prefer one brand to the next? His favorite beer was always "Whatever's on special".
HERE is the website with all the information if you want to see it!
Visit the I HEART HOUSTON sign! It seems like a sketch place when you get there....but it is worth some neat pictures!!! HERE is the address! you can also see all the president heads, and statues of the Beatles!
Get an awesome picture of the downtown skyline! We were on Memorial Drive and parked in an apartment complex to walk over a pedestrian bridge. The trail was the Bayou walking trail. It was a cloudy day but it made for a great view!!! :)
Visit St Arnolds! If you live in Houston and and never been, it is SO worth it! The fun thing is, you can bring your OWN food, board games, cards....anything! It is so laid back! And for $7 you get 4 beers, a tour, and a fun atmosphere!
And to finish off our Friday, we went to one of my favorite restaurants!!! CHUYS! We went to the location in Montrose! We hit up Happy Hour and they have a free nacho bar! Made for an awesome evening!
To finish off our Friday we went to the hot tub at my apartment complex, and enjoyed what stars we could see in the sky. One thing that Reenie saw that was not on her bucket list......A Texas sized cockroach!! Luckilly it didn't bother us, but boy was Reenie surprised!
Saturday Morning we decided to go for a swim, we swam laps to counteract the calories we had yesterday. It made for an awesome laid back morning to read by the pool and relax. Next on her bucket list was to eat at Ruggles, another one of my favorite Houston restaurants, and enjoy a Shiner Beer! This is Shiners Summer Brew and I am bound to find it here in Omaha. Hands down, BEST beer in Texas!
Next stop on her bucket list.......PAPPASITOS and Discovery Green!!! There was a featured movie on the green so we made it into a picnic!!!
Chick Fil A cows...and cows being my favorite animals....had to snap this!
Reenie won a chair!!! Here is the story behind this.... The ground was soaking wet and the second we sat down our behinds were wet, there was no way out of it, we tried sitting on our plastic bags, but we were still WET! We heard there was an contest going on for a blanket and a chair so I RAN down to sign us up for that blanket! I signed Reenie up first and put the flyer in the box. As I filled one out for me the women in charge said, sorry, one entry per person.... darn..but with one entry in 200, we were bound to win! 20 minutes later they drew for the blanket and we did not win....darn....we finished eating about fajitas and they drew for the chair and they called REENIE MCCORMICK!!! She looked at me and said "of course" "I knew the second you signed me up that I would win..." So here is our chair that is now sitting nicely with Chelsi because it wouldnt fit in my car!
Our movie and another view of downtown at night!
Sunday morning! We went to one of my favorite coffee shops, Beans Cafe, and Reenie was so happy that she could be at a coffee shop and not have any school work. It was pure pleasure!!!
We then went to the Tasting Room where we had some lunch, drank some wine, journaled and......
was serenaded by a mariachi band! They asked for requests and even sang another song for us!
We then went to an art museum...Reenies choice...I forget what it was called.....
On the bucket list....see a Texas Gecko!
I also took Reenie to my favorite spot in Houston! George Bush Park. This is the place that I go if I ever need to clear my thoughts...and you are unable to hear any sort of Houston traffic, there are not a lot of people and you can hear the water lapping on the shore. Beautiful serene sound!
Another restaurant.....Yai Yai Mary's!!! My favorite Greek Restaurant in Houston!! Top of lunch with an Alfa Beer!
Next on the list.....Surfside and Galveston!
Reenie eating crawfish!
Didn't get a picture...but another one of my favorite restaurants is Brothers Pizza.
Monday and Wednesday night we spent out with my friends, some of the hardest and tearful goodbyes
The week, as always, goes wayyy to fast! We had fun-filled days! Thursday came way to fast and we spent the morning packing! Nicki and Chelsi were able to stop by and help out and again, more tearful goodbyes!
Saying goodbye as we were waiting for the gate to open at my apartment complex! In a packed car! On the drive we still had 2 more things to check off on the bucket list- Get a picture next to the Sam Houston Memorial, and eat some Beaver Nuggets!!! I have driven past this statue about 10 times and have never stopped! Reenie and I found some side roads and found a trail...and we found him! Look how tiny we are!
The drive went well! With a best friend in the car and on our way to our best friends wedding in Kansas, it helped to break up the drive! I am now in Nebraska, and my new chapter is ahead! Finding a place to live, and finding all my special spots here in Omaha. Luckilly I have all summer to figure it out!
(and if you get a chance to enjoy a Shiner Summer Brew, think of me, it will be my mission here in Nebraska to FIND it and buy them OUT!)
As most of you know, I am closing a chapter in Houston and starting a new journey in Bennington Nebraska! I received a 6th grade Math and Science position. I am so excited to start this new experience. Closing chapters is always hard, and in the picture below, I don't know if you can tell, but I was beyond tears and a mess when leaving Houston. I had a checklist of all the goodbyes I had to make, and it just didn't seem like enough. I am so happy that I had one of my best friends make the journey with me, and boy I owe her a lot!
I gave Reenie a bucket list for Houston for the short week she was here full of my favorite things, and things I also wanted to see! (will do a blog about the whole list later!) The last 3 items on her list were; to stand in front of the Sam Houston Statue, eat some Beaver Nuggets, and see an armadillo. gahhhh the first two were accomplished, and we saw 4 armadillos with legs high in the air....darn...I am BOUND to see a live armadillo, it is one thing on my life bucket list!
After a short overnight stay in Dallas with one of Reenies friends we were on the road at 4:42am Friday morning. After we got coffee and took 1 nap each, we were jamming to music, learning Italian, singing, putting ourselves in "what if" situations, and laughing while eating pop rocks, we were finally in Kansas to get prepared for Carolyns Rehearsal Dinner! I knew the second my foot stepped out of the car that the weekend was going to fly by in no time; and sitting here I still can't believe how fun it was and what a joyous weekend it was!
As the weekend wrapped up it was time to head back to Nebraska.
It was the fastest 3 hours, and again, spending it with a friend made the drive so much easier.
Reenie helped me unload my car- which we realized was so much easier than packing it!
(shout out to Nicki, Chelsi and Reenie for being ROCK stars and wonder women for loading up my car!)
Mom got home, and we took Jovi for a walk, I owed him a BIG TREAT for his protection over me in Texas,
I know this is not the biggest treat, but it is what I had right away. It was nice to spend time with him!
Each time I come home my mom always says...."Well what do you want to eat?" So I told her I was craving shishcabobs with chicken and fresh vegetables! Wish granted, I did all the cutting, she did all the grilling, and it was the best meal to come home too!
I will need to share the marinade, because it made the cabobs melt in your mouth.
So as I sit here blogging and listening to the US Open with my parents, it makes for a great night in Nebraska! I am so excited to see what this summer will offer!
Haven't posted in a month, and I will get more into the habit of posting once a week!
I have always known Texas Sheet cake as being with chocolate. When I came upon this recipe I thought I would give it a try! It still has that sweet delectable cake consistancy. I am still in favor of the chocolate flavored cake, but this is a close #2!
Ingredients: 1 cup butter 1 cup water 2 cups all-purpose four 2 cups white sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon almond extract 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt
Frosting: 1/2 cup butter, cubed 1/4 cup milk 4 cups powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I used Vanilla)
Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium saucepan bring butter and water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl add flour and sugar and mix. Then add in eggs, sour cream, extract, baking soda and salt. Slowly pour in the boiling butter/water mixture. Stir with a spatula until well combined and smooth. No need to use an electric mixer. Batter will be very thin.
Pour into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Your cake will be flat and not very tall (it's a sheet cake). Cool for about 10 minutes. You still want your cake a little warm when you add the frosting so that it spreads well.
For the frosting: In a large saucepan, combine butter and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, and then stir in the powdered sugar and extract. Stir until smooth and all combined. Spread immediately over warm cake. Decorate cake with sprinkles, if desired.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Form the dough into 1 inch balls. Place on a greased baking sheet and flatten.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the top of the cookie before baking.
Bake 8 minutes or until cooked through.
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4-5 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of half and half, plus more if needed
Beat together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until fluffy and pale in colour.
Add 4 cups of the confectioner's sugar and the vanilla extract and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until it is fully incorporated.
Scrape down the bowl and add the half and half. Beat to incorporate again.
Add another 1 cup of the confectioner's sugar and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until fully incorporated. If it needs to be thicker, add the remaining confectioner's sugar. If it is too thick, add more half and half a teaspoon at a time, beating after each addition, until it reaches the consistency you like.
ingredients: 2 cups flour 3/4 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup butter 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup peanut butter 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla 1 1/3 cup (8oz bag) Heath Toffee Bits
directions: Preheat oven to 350 In a small bowl mix flour, soda, and salt In another bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and peanut butter Add eggs and vanilla and mix well until combined Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix until combined Stir in toffee bits
I have had many requests for special orders for people to take home. I have already make Jello Poke cupcakes, Triple Chocolate Showdown Cake, and Cranberry Bliss Blondies for others. For a minimum donation of $20 I will bake you something of your choice. If you have a friends birthday coming up, dessert for a special occasion, you would be helping yourself and the kids of Nicaragua out!!! I am so appreciatve and cannot say thank you enough to all those who have helped support this cause. Make sure and check back after July 24th to see pictures of everything we were able to do.
Go ahead and look at your choice of desserts! If there is something missing, and you know that I have made it in the past, just let me know, shoot me a text, email, facebook message, or catch me at school. I would love to bake for you!