Monday, February 25, 2008

Busy Weekend

I had a busy weekend:

On Friday night, I had dinner at the Smythe's and Heather and the kiddos joined us (Eric had to work late- silly tax season).

This is Morris the Bear. Sarah and Katherine helped me build him a couple of years ago at Build-A-Bear and he always goes with me to visit them so he can play with his "friends"- a flamingo named Lilly and a dog named Amber :)

Katherine's favorite animal is the flamingo and I think she does a pretty good impression...

Katherine and Mikaela

Sorry Sarah, the pictures of you and I didn't come out...we'll try again next time!

Then on Saturday Lisa and I went for a run- 4.5 miles in 47ish minutes- a 10:20 pace! Whoohoo! Followed by standard weekend errands...

Later that evening, Adrienne and I went to see the musical, "The Scarlet Pimpernel". We had both recently read the book and LOVED it! It's a fantastic story, whose main character inspired Zorro...

The musical was done by The Masquerade Theater Company at Zilkha Hall and I was very impressed by both the acting and vocal talent. The score/lyrics are just incredible (I recommend the song "Madame Guillotine). The first act was outstanding. The second act, well, they really changed the ending from the book and I didn't really care for it. I would still recommend the musical, but definitely read the book. There is a lot of subtle intrigue that is difficult to capture on the stage. All in all, a good show.

On Sunday, the McFerran gals (Sara, Stacy, Stephanie, and Shelly) and Pam hosted a birthday picnic for me at Challenger Park. Yummy food and cake and picnic-perfect weather! I got to break in my fabulous bright ORANGE Crocs (thanks Mom and Dad!). You girls rock!

Birthday Picnic 2008

And then I finished it off by heading over to Lisa's for scrapbooking (although I worked on some invitations instead)

I think I need another weekend...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Birthday Surprise!

For my birthday, my friends Sara, Stacy, Stephanie, Shelly, Sandi, Sophie, and Samantha "broke into" (they have a key :) ) my apartment and decorated it with balloons and streamers and flowers and beautiful gifts. It was the best part of my day. Thanks girls! I am blessed to have you as friends and pray that God will continue to grow our friendship :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pseudo Piroshki

I attempted to make piroshki (a little pastry stuffed with yummy stuff) for the first time. This included making the pastry dough from scratch...I've never even made bread from scratch. I was very relieved when the dough did rise!

I stuffed the piroshki with a mixture of cabbage, potato, onion, and turkey sausage. I also made a couple stuffed with an apple cinnamon mixture, and another with sausage and apples.

They came out okay...I think the dough needs to be a little sweeter (at least that's how I remember it from the ones I've had in Russia). I did half white flour/half wheat flour. And they were a little hard on the outside...maybe I didn't let the dough rise long enough?

Of course, I had too much filling, so I over-stuffed them, which caused them to split a bit when they baked.
Oh well, it's fun to try new things...

5 miles

We ran 5 miles this 55 minutes...10K is two weeks away!

5 Places

I've been tagged by Desiree:

Five places I want to see (I will limit myself to only 5...a hard thing to do):

1. India (specifically Bangalore and the Frazier family :) )

2. Istanbul, Turkey

3. Morocco

4. South Africa for the World Cup 2010!!!!

5. Krakow, Poland

Five places I want to see again:

1. Hawaii

2. Prague, Czech Republic

3. Washington D.C

4. Los Angeles (I love Disneyland!)

5. Arizona, I just love that whole state :)

I now tag Lauren, Erin, and Lisa!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


So once again, I have been experimenting with new recipes and this one is definitely a keeper.

Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is from South America and I like to describe it as a cross between couscous and rice. It is extremely high in protein and is in the whole grains family. You can buy it in the bulk section at HEB.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas

Prep time: ~ 40 minutes
Cook time: ~25-30 minutes


  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (15oz.) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15oz.) can of diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1/4 cup picante sauce (I used medium)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • whole wheat tortillas, warmed (at least 8 or 9 6-inch tortillas- depends on how full you make the enchiladas)
  • 1 cup salsa (I use medium)
  • shredded cheese (Cheddar, fiesta mix, etc)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the green pepper, onion, and garlic in the olive oil until tender. Add the beans, tomatoes/chilies, picante sauce, cumin, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until heated through and mixture thickens. Add quinoa, cook 5 minutes longer or until heated through.
  2. Sprinkle shredded cheese onto tortilla. Spoon 1/2 cup or so (more or less depending on how full you want the enchiladas to be) into the middle of the tortilla and roll. Place in 9 X 13 pan, coated with non-stick spray (I use organic olive oil spray). Repeat until the pan is full. Spoon salsa over the enchiladas and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove and sprinkle top with cheese and chopped cilantro. Return to over for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
    Makes about 9-12 enchiladas

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Thrift shopping

Today my friend Desiree and I headed down to Westheimer and Shepherd for some good girl time. She is a busy wife and mom of three and was looking forward to a small breather. So, thanks Dave (Desiree's hubby) for taking care of the kiddos, 'cause we had a blast! We had breakfast at one of my favorite places in that area, Empire Cafe, and then hit a bunch of the thrift or rather "recycled clothing" shops. I've always been a fan of Buffalo Exchange and we definitely hit the jackpot there. I found this great hand-beaded skirt there from Bali for under $20! Excitement! Isn't it pretty? We also hit up "Recycled Fashions" and "Taxi Taxi".

We had a great time. She has all these great nuggets of Christian wisdom that I am storing up for future seasons and is just a lot of fun to be around. Love ya girlie!

Then I headed to Sonya and Grady's to take pictures of their bookcases...I still haven't built mine, but I really like the design of the ones Grady has in his study, so I'm gonna copy them.

I went for a 4.55 mile run...I seriously think the humidity is hindering me...that's my excuse and I am sticking to it! I didn't get the time I wanted...definitely felt the distance though...whew! Only another mile and some change to add before race day on March 1st!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Thoughts on Running

So Lisa and I (and several others) have signed up to run the Houston Rodeo Run 10K on March 1st...yeah 6.1 miles. Yikes! So yesterday we did a bit of a longer run, ~3.5 miles...good pace, good breathing, great weather. All in all a very good run.

Today was a different story. I decided that I was going to run 2 miles for time. For those of you who live in Houston, you know that today is an exceptionally humid day (currently 88% in my area). My first mile was great... 9 min 38s...and then I about died...I COULDN'T breathe! Seriously, it was like the air was getting stuck in the back of my throat! Does any one know of a lung implant I can get to filter the air? (Wouldn't that be a great invention??) So needless to say my second mile was just plain awful. First, I was running into hurricane-ish gale force winds (maybe a slight exaggeration...) did help to shove the air into my lungs...and then I had the Pain of Death in my side. Horrendous side cramp...which I used to my advantage by distracting myself with morbid scenes of myself collapsing on the side of the road because it was really acute appendicitis (overactive So definitely not my best mile ever. Oh well...

So bottom line, pray that the humidity on March 1st isn't ridiculous..under 30% would be great (and for you Arizonans out there, 30% humidity is NOT humid :) ).

Friday, February 1, 2008

What a cutie!

Although I was really bummed that I missed my sister and nephew at Christmas by two days, they had a wonderful time. She is such a good mom and he is just so cute! I hope to make another trip to Seattle to visit them soon...

My beautiful sister and her cute kid...who is distracted by the animals at the Reid Park Zoo

Just don't fall off please...

Chatting with some javelina at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

This is really the best picture of them all...see what he is holding? Yep, that's a soccer ball!