Saturday, July 31, 2010

Triple-D, Cowtown Style!

No, I'm not talking bra size. Pervs!! 

My honey and I went out for drinks last night in the West 7th area of Fort Worth, and ended up chatting with a really nice couple about local eateries. They asked us if we'd ever been to Fred's.

When we said no, they began RAVING about the burgers. And said we absolutely HAD to go. They said a lot more, and convinced us to give it a try.

My honey suggested we try Fred's for lunch today, and so we did.

Isn't my honey a cutie-patootie? (except for the Skankees hat - nobody is perfect!)

PS - don't tell him I called him a cutie-patootie. He'll roll his eyes at me.

And me. Yes - those are stacks of buns we're sitting next to. 

Now, Fred's isn't a fancy place.
In fact, one might call it a dive. 

This picture illustrates one of my favorite things about Fort Worth - the diverse population. From the guy with the cowboy hat on the left, to the lovely ladies in the center, to the single guys over there in the booth. Many cowboys walked in while we were there as well - boots, hats, and spurs. 

My honey just chuckled...(he's such a city boy!)

When the food is good..the crowd will mix and mingle. They also had a band playing out on the patio - I could hear the fiddle and the bass outside.

This is the part of the story where I have to make a confession.

I sinned.
Big time.
In a humongous way.
In a hamburger and cheese fries way.

And OMG it was worth it.
I'll go to the gym again tomorrow. I promise.

Here, see for yourself

1/4 pound burger
handcut fries
fresh cheese
and yes, that's a cup of ranch in the background.

take another look. 

feel free to drool a little. 

My honey had a cheeseburger and fries (see the theme here???)

This place was seriously good!

Oh, remember when I said it was a dive?

Guy Fieri featured it on Diners, Drive-in's and Dives a while back.
So you know it's good!

Fred's Texas Cafe
915 Currie St.
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Four thumbs up from us!

It's a new day! 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Kabob Post

I have this compulsion to show you that I don't eat pasta covered with cheese for every meal. 

Every other meal perhaps... 

Now and then we break out the grill and throw on steaks, or chicken, or pork chops. 

Today's choice was steak, with onion, green bell pepper, orange bell pepper and (for me) fungus. 

Mushrooms folks. I'm talking about the shrooms. 

It's really simple - make a few rough cuts on the veggies, slap on some olive oil, salt and pepper. Cube and season the meat - our choice was Montreal Steak Seasoning with olive oil. (I've found that the olive oil helps the steak carmelize). 
So here they are,getting happy on the grill.

Don't you like the orange bell pepper? Adds a nice pop of color!

And getting happier still...

Tick tock
tick tock
roll them around
try not to burn off a finger (or arm at this point!)

FINALLY! Ready for eating. 

MM mm good! 

so do you do kabobs? 
What's your favorite combos? 
Any tips or tricks to sharing?

It's a new day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Gene Simmons has serious competition

Yes, THIS Gene Simmons. 

(Sorry if that scared anyone.)

Jessie and Bello are putting ole Gene on notice. 

Please overlook Jessie's friend The Zit. 
Yes, it's still with her. Poor girl.

Bello thinks he's the front runner to be the new front pug for KISS.

Audrey was concerned that her boyfriend Jackson would be offended if she were to allow me to post an obscene photo of her.
She did consent to sharing this cute outtake

Bello offered up this encore of his impression of a lion.

Jessie and Bello await agents' calls. They will tour upon request.

It's a new day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hoo Are You Tuesday

Yes, it's Tuesday, and you know what that means!

Another round of Hoo Are You Tuesday with Leslie at Night Owl Crafting

Here we go!
1. Have you ever broke a bone or anything on your body?

Knock on wood, throw some salt over my shoulder - no I haven't.

2. What is your favorite drink?
Bacardi and coke.
Followed closely by a good margarita on the rocks, no salt.
And a good sangria.
And you'd think by this answer I drink a lot.
I really don't.
I'm old,
and a weekend isn't enough time to recover from a hangover LOL
But when I do enjoy a frosty adult beverage - I really enjoy it!

3. When is your birthday! You don't have to tell the year you were born!
Oh sure. Just after I tell you I'm old, you ask about my birthday.
It's June 27th
Confession: I celebrate for the entire week, if not month.
Well why not??
And for the record, I turned 36 this year.

4. Do you have an allergies?
I'm allergic to wearing orange and blue at the same time.
(it's a college rivalry thing y'all - go Noles!)
Otherwise, just seasonal allergies that are notorious in Texas

5. What is one of your all time favorite movies?
This is a tough one - I have so many favorites!
Top Gun
Princess Bride
Toy Story (1 & 2)
Steel Magnolias (it's because of Weeza)
Grease (who doesn't love this one??)
Ok, I'll stop there.

So, Hoo Are You?
Play along, I dare ya!

Soooo thankful it's a new day!

Monday, July 19, 2010


First, since this blog is all about honesty, I have a confession. 

I intended to make a penne pasta with chicken and spinach in a garlic cream sauce. 

Except, I forgot to thaw the spinach. 

And if that wasn't bad enough, I quickly discovered that the heavy cream that I had just bought was sour
(and by just bought, I mean I bought it on Sunday.)
And yes, the expiration date was well into August. Harumph! 

So two ingredients down, and I'm in a pinch. 

I did something I rarely do. I experimented. 

Much to my surprise IT WORKED. oh yeah momma! 
Technically it's a penne pasta with chicken in a tomato-cream(y) sauce. 
I was so surprised, I immediately said OHMIGAWD it's sooo good.
And had to share it with you.

So here's how it all happened. 
The suspects: 
Seasoned chicken breasts (salt, pepper and a little oregano) cooked on the stove in a little olive oil

In another pan, I started a roux - 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup flour

And pasta boiling on the stove
not an exciting picture, but I really wanted to show off the backsplash again! (sorry)

Look at the color on these babies! 
is calling chicken breasts "babies" ok? 
I kinda felt dirty there for a second... hmm

When the chicken cooked through, I set them aside. 
I added a good 3 tablespoons of crushed garlic and a 1/2 cup of chicken broth to deglaze the pan
I also added a chicken boullion cube for a little more flavor

Meanwhile, I whisked in some chicken broth into the roux, to build that part of the sauce

And added some tomato sauce to my garlic/chicken broth base.

And then...
are you ready for this? 
are you sure? 
really sure?
Ok. here it is. 
I combined the two sauces. 

and whisked them together

looks a bit like a vodka sauce eh? 

while those two sauces simmered and became one, I cubed the chicken

This is the really elegant part. Are you ready? 
are you sure? 
I threw the chicken and pasta into the sauce. 
and added ricotta cheese.
MIND BLOWING, right?? 

I introduced all the ingredients to each other

You'll never believe what I did next. 
Go on, guess. 
Nuh unh. 
That's not it either.
Want me to tell you? 
ok, here goes..

I topped it with cheese. 

you didn't see that one coming, did you? 

I baked it for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven to let everything melt together, and 
It was so good, I said it twice.

Tomorrow: leftovers report!

It's a new day in the kitchen! 

Post-Renovation Bliss

I've been wallowing around in post-renovation bliss in the kitchen. I haven't cooked anything special - am planning on it tonight though!

It's also been hotter than hades here, so I haven't been out and about taking pictures of the pugs (or anything else).

The only exciting thing we did this weekend was see Inception at the theater. If you haven't seen it yet, RUN. don't walk. RUN. It's an excellent movie! You get eye candy with Leo, (and the rest of the crew), and a smart movie that grabs you and keeps your attention for the entire 2 hours and 20 minutes. You'll thank me later...

Stay tuned for "Hoo Are You Tuesday" coming up - well, on Tuesday.

It's a new day!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Once Upon A Time... kitchen looked like this. 
white laminate countertops, white open burner cook top
and ginormous white cast iron sink. 

that's a whole lotta white!

Last year, my kitchen began to morph. 

First, new countertops

and a new black smooth surface cooktop

and a new even ginourmous-er (is that a word?)


where was I? 

RIGHT. the even ginourmous-er stainless steel sink
and new faucet too! 

Please excuse the junk that migrated its way back onto the counters. it couldn't be helped! 

And then progress screeched to a halt.

Why you ask?
Well, I'm ashamed to admit it.
In the interest of honesty, I will confess.
 I had a love affair with this glass tile.
That's right, the blue & brown mosaic glass tile on the bottom. 

And I just loved this tile. 
I pined for this tile. 
I coveted this tile. 
The problem was, my checking account did NOT like this tile. 
My savings account rejected it outright.

So I toyed with the idea of doing a band of this tile, and surrounding it with ceramic tile. 
Hence the sample above. 
I even looked at other glass tile that was less costly. 

But my heart could not be swayed. 
I knew in my heart of hearts, I wouldn't be happy until I had this tile.
And so my kitchen sat, backsplash-less for over a year. 

While I moaned and groaned.
And wished and dreamed.
And plotted and planned.
And saved (well sorta).
Finally, the day arrived.

The day I got completely sick of having a half-done kitchen. 
And I bit the bullet
Called the tile guy 
(I outsource. supporting the local economy you know.)

And what do you know. He had time this week.

I rushed out to buy the tile, hoping and praying they still carried it.
To quote Gomer Pile
 They not only still carried it..

if that's not fate my friends, I don't know what is.

(it's ok to pause and reflect..)

and so today, this 14th day of July, I proudly present to you
my faithful readers and friends
Cochina de Harper

I know. 

I heard the heavenly hosts proclaim "Hallelujah" myself! 

Now comes the decorating. I promise it won't take a year.

Enjoy your new day!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Photographic Genius!

ok, well not quite.

are you sick of pug pictures yet?

no? whew!!!

are you sick of pictures of the pugs indoors yet?

no? Oh good. I was hoping you'd say that.

Jessie was hoping you'd say that too.

Will someone PLEASE love me?

Dre just hopes you'll give her some treats.

Give me treats NOW, and noone will get hurt.

Pretty, pretty please?

ok fine. I'll just go lay on that pillow that I'm not supposed to lay on.

better yet, I'll lay on the footrest of your recliner.
Take that.

Meanwhile, Bello is concerned.

no, I don't know what he's concerned about.
I just know he's concerned, ok?

I asked him to smile for me, and he said this was the best he could do.

Then I asked him to show his off his award winning recliner-foot-rest position.

Hmm, I guess the foot rest isn't big enough for him.

Maybe "genius" is a strong word.

But the pugs sure are cute!