Sunday, October 7, 2012

Culinary Genius

Guess what time it is boys & girls!

Yes, time for the monthly post. Today I'm sharing with you the amazing experience we had at Fearing's 5th Anniversary dinner.

Fearing's Restaurant is located in the Ritz Carlton, Dallas. That should give you a clue as to the caliber of food they put out. Fine dining at its best!!

This amazing arrangement greeted us on our arrival at the Ritz:

We started with a champagne reception on their patio lounge, and oh did the bubbly flow!

Dean Fearing's special guest chef for the dinner is none other than the incomparable Hubert Keller. Foodies everywhere will recognize both as being James Beard award winning chefs. They greeted us as part of the reception, and were gracious enough to allow this photo op:

I was hoping just a smidgeon of their culinary genius would rub off on me. I'll keep you posted on the outcome...

After the reception, we were seated in Dean's Kitchen area, where we were able to observe all of the plating and preparation. It was awesome!!! Artistry in action.

Here's my handsome husband to be in our cozy booth for 2:

(see the pastry chefs behind him?)

Here is our menu for the evening:

Our first course: Green Apple Gazpacho with Maine Lobster Tartar and Sturgeon Caviar

Second course: Pan Seared Sea Scallops, Bacon (BACON!), Napa Cabbage with Julienned Truffles, accented with Mushroom Broth Consumme

Main course: Braised Kobe Beef Cheeks and Parsley Puree, Pickled Onions, Red Wine Sauce infused with Lemongrass and Ginger

And last, but certainly not least, dessert: Silky Cowboy Hat, Chocolate Chipotle Mousse Cake, Chocolate Creme, and Jack Daniels Chocolate Milkshake (I died!)

This was one of those meals of a lifetime. Everything was SO GOOD. Complex flavors, and beautifully constructed plates. Thank you to Fearing's for hosting this amazing experience!!!

Enjoy your new day!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Holy moly, it's September. Summer is over, the days are getting shorter, and it's still hot outside (gee, thanks global warming).

It's also 2 months until our Big Day. HOLY CRAP!

Most of the big things are done, but there are a number of small things left. Thank goodness my mom &  best friend will be visiting at the end of September. Yup, I'll be putting them to work!!

cupcake toppers, seating cards, welcome letter - the list goes on. And I can't wait to be in Mexico, on the beach. and married to Mr. NYC. I'm focused on that part of it, and not "the list".

Work has been really busy, so most of our meals are pretty quick and easy. Not a lot of experimenting or fancy cooking. Mr NYC has been super helpful and grills a couple of meals every week (YUM! GRILLED FOOD!).

The pugs are good, just as lazy and rotten as ever.

I did confess this week that I have a keurig on my desk at work. I'm a coffee snob - the stuff they have at work is AWFUL. And then there's the occasional day when the Keurig just isn't enough:

BTW - did you know that college football is here? Hell YEAH! FSU rolled over Murray State yesterday - 69-3. Yeah, I know. I feel sorry for Murray State too, just a little bit. I will be sporting my FSU TOMS this fall:

Check out Campus Classics by TOMS and get your own.

What's on your plates for September?

Enjoy your new day!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Meal Planning - Week of July 8th

Yeah I hear what you're saying. "So much for 'regular' blogging Allie". And you're right. My bad.

Here's this week's menu:
Sunday lunch - salad (I did a spinach caprese salad - spinach, fresh mozzarella cheese and cherry tomatoes).

Sunday dinner - Korean BBQ pork chops and green beans

Monday - Green Chili Chicken Tostadas (one of my favorite cheater-chicken recipes, and it's healthy too!)

Tuesday - steak & grilled corn on the cob

Wednesday - parmesan chicken (this is a Pinterest find - can't way to try it!)
Photo & Recipe from

Thursday - burgers

Friday - roasted chicken thighs

Saturday lunch - calzone

Saturday dinner - out

So planning a big week of eating in, wish me luck!!

What are you cooking this week?

Enjoy your new day!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Meal Planning: Week of June 17th

I thought I'd try something new to keep me in the habit of blogging - sharing my weekly meal planning with you guys. Now, I never claimed it's super healthy, organic, or anything else. Mostly it's just quick and easy. And yes, we plan to eat out a couple of nights a week. Don't judge!

Sunday lunch: spinach salad (note - this got changed this week because the spinach in the store looked sad!)

Sunday dinner: steak & grilled corn on the cob (my honey is a Grill Master!)

Monday: out (working late, and I have a hair cut after work = we will get home late. so out it is)

Tuesday: pork chops and green beans

Wednesday: Sausage with peppers & onions

Thursday: chicken thighs & spanish rice

Friday: burgers

Saturday: play it by ear/out (I know..awful).

I find myself repeating the same meals week after week. I definitely need to mix it up a bit. Any suggestions for quick & easy dinners?? We're trying to stay low carb too, so that's a challenge for me.

Oh, and baking cookies on Sunday night probably doesn't help.

Enjoy your new day!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It's June?

Really? June 10th already? WHAT THE HELL PEOPLE?

Yes, just a short 5 months now until our Big Day. My list is getting checked off, and everything is moving forward. It feels a bit like playing hide-n-seek. You know the part where whomever is "it" shouts "ready or not here I come!"? Yeah, that part.
Photo courtesy of

June is usually a pretty cool month for me, but this one is a bit of a challenge. In the "cool" category - my parents' will have their 42nd wedding anniversary on the 20th.

Photo courtesy of 

And I turn 29 (again, ahem) on the 27th.

Photo courtesy of

According to the calendar, summer officially begins on the 21st; but I live in Texas, and summer really begins sometime in May.

Photo courtesy of

In the less-than-cool category, work is a regular ass beating. It's our busy season, and while I knew it was coming, it sure doesn't make it any easier.

Photo courtesy of

On top of that, I made a bone headed decision to take an industry certification test on June 22nd. No, I have no idea what I was thinking!!!

I'm guessing some of you might be wondering if I'm still into cooking, since I rarely post about that these days. And some of you might not be wondering, but I'm going to tell you anyway.

Yes, I still cook. It's usually very simple and quick dishes since we get home fairly late in the evening, and once we do get home, I'm flat beat. I'll get back to posting recipes soon.

For now, I must, MUST go watch the Season 5 premiere of True Blood.

No correlation to the upcoming recipes by the way. I know you wondered about that too...

Enjoy your new day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

About May...

May is going by as fast as April did. And since I haven't wanted to hash and rehash all the details of wedding planning with you, I haven't had much to share lately.

So I thought I'd share the reasons why I'm trying not to let my wedding vomit on you, too.

See, it's like this: I've had friends get married, and they prattled on and on about cake flavors, wedding favors, ribbon colors, bridesmaid dresses, invitations - you get the drift. I was over all of the details before she could say "wedding planning".

Photo courtesy of

And I really, really didn't want to be that bride.  I didn't want to obsess over every little detail, kill myself with DIY, and bore my friends who couldn't care less what the difference is between teal and aqua (sorry Amanda!!).

Photo courtesy of

My response when friends (and acquaintances) ask me how the wedding planning is going is to say "do you really want to know? or do you just want me to say 'fine'?" Right... they are going just fine.

But the truth is - I am that bride. I'm formally apologizing to each and every one of you that my wedding has vomited all over, and sincerely THANK YOU for feigning interest and not telling me to go away.

Photo courtesy of

The reality of planning a major party for 40 plus guests in another country is more than I bargained for. Yes, most of it is going well. No, there really isn't a whole lot I can use help with right now (thanks mom!). It's obsessing over the details while the clock ticks ever closer that drives me bananas.


I'm reassured by my married friends that it will all be ok, and that even when something goes wrong most people won't even notice. I'm going to hang my hat on this, ok?

On that note, I hear my semi-DIY invitations calling my name. Excuse me for another week or two...

enjoy your new day!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

April, I Barely Knew Ya

I blinked and another month flew by without a blog post. I'm sure all 2 of my readers were completely devastated. I'm sorry. I'll try to do better.

April was a bit of a blur with work, wedding planning, and tornados. Some of these things are much more fun than me on this. 

On the wedding front, I got a few more things ordered, had a dress fitting (yeah, 6 months out, I'm a planner...), finally confirmed our reception location at the resort, decided on menus, and a few other items that I can't even remember now. Don't worry, it's all saved in my handy-dandy spreadsheet. I kid (and sometimes bitch) about the crazy that is wedding planning, but I'm so looking forward to our wedding day, and our marriage.

On the work front, I worked. I got paid. I'm still employed. Moving on...

Tornados. Holy CRAP y'all. Dallas/Fort Worth had 17 of them one afternoon. Yes, I said 17!!! If you missed that story, just click here for the video. We were lucky - only had 20 minutes of hiding in the stairwell in DT Dallas while they passed. Our home was fine too. That was one scary ass afternoon, and I'd prefer not to repeat it, ever.

In the randomness category, I read a fabulous book that you should all go out and buy:

And you should read her blog too. It'll make you feel 100% normal. Promise.

I also read this book which all the good housewives (and us working slobs too!) are salivating over:

It's hot, it's steamy, it's sexy, it's pornographic. So if you like that stuff, check it out.

My friend Nicole was also gracious enough to allow me to guest post at Big Day for 10k, sharing some truths and myths about planning a destination wedding. Run over there and check it out! Say hi while you're at it.

We ran down to Houston for the weekend to attend the awesome wedding of one of my best friends and his new lovely wife.

And now it's May. We're currently watching the Knicks and the Mavs get the crap kicked out of them in the NBA playoffs, and watching the Texas Rangers kick booty and take names. Go Rangers!!

We are still adjusting to our new schedule of working/commuting together (did I tell you that we now work in the same office?!), so I haven't really been experimenting in the kitchen. I have a really small rotation of meals, and we pick up dinner on the later nights. Boring, right?? I need to find my cooking mojo. And my crafty mojo. If y'all see either of them, will you let me know?

And that about covers it.

Enjoy your new day!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where in the world...

has Allie been?

Yes, I'm sure you've been wondering where I've been and why I haven't been blogging. You're saying to yourself, "Self, WHEN is she going to get it together and share with us again?"

The wait is over my friends. All two of you will be relieved to know I've busted through the blogging block and am BACK.

Even better? I'm going to let my wedding planning throw up all over you.

You just visualized that, didn't you?

I'm sorry.

Sort of.

If you aren't the sort that gives a rats ass about wedding crap, I'd suggest you mosey on back to your Facebook games - Draw Something is rather popular or so I hear.

Oh, you're still here? Awesome. Here we go.

So I'm getting married. Not sure if you heard that news. The Big Day (as it shall be referred to from now on) is November 5, 2012. Yes, that's Monday, November 5, 2012. What can I say? I'm a non-traditional bride.

Keeping with that non-traditional theme, we're having a destination wedding. We've chosen Riviera Maya, Mexico as the location paradise to host a small group of friends and family who are able to join us and celebrate The Big Day.

If you did the math, you'll realize that The Big Day is just over 7 months away. Yeah, that means it's pretty much go-time for all things wedding-related for an OCD planner-type like me.

I have:
-chair sashes
-various shells and starfish
-my dress, and shoes
-wedding night lingerie (woot!)
-base of our invites and envelopes
-guest book
-monogram postcards
-return address labels
-materials to make my veil
-our photographer is booked - Lotus Blossom Photography (the BEST!!!) 
-our registries are done (Macy's & Crate & Barrel)
-reservations made at the resort for us & our guests
-my sash & hair thingeemabob have been created and are on the way 

We still need: 
-rest of materials for invites, including enclosures
-his attire 
-favors (I have my ideas, but am wanting to keep a few things a surprise!) 
-need to order my bouquet and his boutonniere, decide if we're doing corsages/bouts for the families
-paper lanterns for aisle decoration & reception decorations
-book our airfare (minor detail, right??)
-consider booking a Trash the Dress session in Mexico (don't worry mom, the dress really doesn't get trashed...) 
-parasols for decorations/photos - I would love to have enough of these for all of our guests for shade, but I am not hauling them down to Mexico! 
-finalize our rehearsal dinner menu selections
-finalize our reception menu choices (so we can put them on the RSVP, wedding website, etc)
-figure out what the heck to do about centerpieces
-alterations made to my dress (planned for late summer)

I need to make: 
-my veil
-assemble the invites once I get the pieces
-place cards (once we have the RSVP/menu selections back)
-table #'s
-thank you banner (for our photog, will then make a thank you notecard)
-wedding weekend events timeline
-playlists of music for ceremony (he's in charge of playlist for dinner & receptions)
-menus for rehearsal dinner
-put together the ceremony elements (aka write our vows)

Now I'm a little stressed that the last two lists are longer than the first one. Guess I'd better get to work!!! 

Enjoy your new day! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Walking in Venice

One of the things I loved in Venice is just wandering around. It's not that hard to find your way, just watch for the directions painted on the buildings pointing towards St. Mark's Square, or the Rialto Bridge, or Piazza Roma.

The architecture in Venice is amazing. Rather than ramble on, I'll just let you enjoy it.

During our wandering, we naturally got hungry, and found a lovely little trattoria with a courtyard for lunch. They let me into the kitchen for pictures, though the chef insisted he not be in them. Look at the piles of fresh pasta on top!

We had AMAZING food.


and lasagna:

after lunch we took the water taxi back to our side of Venice. here are a few final pictures of this lovely city:

I loved every minute of our trip. Italy was amazing, and I would love to go back for another visit. I'd like to spend more time in Florence, Venice, and then see Naples and Capri next time. Whenever that may be.

Enjoy your new day!