Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Step One: Grow Your Own Mint

There have been a few requests from friends and blog readers (hello, texpat!), so I'll let you guys in on my mojito recipe.

Mojito Mint

The Best Pitcher of Mojitos You'll Ever Wrap Your Lips Around

You'll need:
A huge, preferably 1 gallon pitcher
3/4 cup Turbinado sugar
2 large limes
Two large handfuls of very fresh mint leaves
4 ounces of Don Q Cristal Rum
2 liters of club soda

Step one: Grow your own mint. It's easy and it's crazy rewarding. After your mint is grown, harvest about enough to fill a small colander. Let it soak in a sink full of cool water, and then remove the leaves from the stems. Set aside.

Step two: Dump the sugar in the bottom of your pitcher. Grate the zest of one lime into the pitcher, and then juice both limes in there, too. Dump your fresh mint into the pitcher. Muddle the mint in with the sugar and lime juice with a large wooden spoon or, if you are so inclined, a muddler. The leaves should turn very dark and saturated. Add the rum and stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved.

Step three: Once the sugar is dissolved, pour in the club soda. Be sure to pour slowly. You want to preserve as much fizz as possible, and because of the carbonation, you won't be able to stir the mixture.

Step four: Fill an enormous glass with fresh, clear ice. Pour a mojito. Relax, instantly.

Monday, June 28, 2010

There's Always Something

You know what the problem is with buying a home you see a lot of potential in? There's always some improvement that you want to make.

Right now we're trying to decide what we'll to with the practically blank slate we've made in the back yard. We've been working hard on the front yard, and that is paying off, but now we've got to deal with the back.

And then we want to paint the brick.

After that, we'll probably finish putting up the privacy fence.

And I'm not even going to talk about the kitchen and the bathroom.

One thing after another.

I'm hoping that, maybe someday, we'll get to live in a finished house with nothing left to do.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Drinking it in


While I was visiting my family a couple of weekends ago, one of my sisters remarked that I hit the bottle a lot.

"Every time I see you post on Facebook, it's always about drinking mojitos."

Can she blame me? Mojitos are delish and it's fucking hot outside. (And we've got to do something with all this mint growing in our front yard!)

In fact, it got insanely hot in Dallas insanely early. Average temps for North Texas are inching up on 102 degrees F.

And if the heat doesn't have you reaching for a bottle and ice, the swarms of bugs will.

I have to water my garden every day or risk all of my plants turning into crispy critters. I don't mind watering when I get home, I just have to make sure that I'm holding a glass of something cold and boozy. But then, while I'm in the middle of gardner's nirvana, the mosquitos strike. I swear to Jeebus, my legs look like a Jackson Pollock.

Now, the weather will sometimes drive you to drink. It's how the Russians invented vodka, right?

But, the weather getting in the way of getting your drink on? That's fucked up.

Yes, I said it. Weather, don't you get between me and a cold one. Ever.

After two-plus weeks with no rain, it looks like we're going to have thunderstorms for the next THREE FUCKING DAYS.

If that means that I can't get on a patio and booze it up with my drinking buddies, then me and Weather, well, we're going to have words.

Also, I finished a knitted item. It turned out much to tiny for my huge noggin, so I gave it to my uber-cute sis-in-law. She definitely pulls it off.


(Pattern is Felicity, yarn is Bernat Softee Chunky)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Race to The Finish

My boss went on vacation this week. When he's out, I'm the boss.

Trust me, this is less fun than it sounds.

When I'm in charge, it's like pitching with no backstop -- when there's a wild pitch, you're going to have to run after it yourself.

So, I've been trying to let this week fly by, and it has just been CRAWLING. And I've been so busy trying to publish work, edit stuff, and manage crises. I did find out, though, that I'm wildly efficient when under pressure. It's like being one of those mothers that lifts a car to save their baby -- It doesn't matter how it gets done, I just get it done.

That's the long way around my excuse for not posting here lately. Also, I haven't taken ANY PICTURES lately. At least not fun, non-work-related pictures. I plan on remedying that this weekend.

In just a few moments I'm going to cash in a few comp hours and head down to Houston to hang with my family. Just my luck that the Scottish branch on our family tree will be well represented (HI DAVE AND DOROTHY!!!). I'm bringing a lot of knitting with me, but only stuff I can work on and chat with family at the same time.

In any case, everyone, have a great weekend! Grill some tofu! Have some mojitos! Hang out with family and recharge your batteries!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

When Mondays Turn Into Sundays

Dave and I were talking about it, and we still can't figure out why America hasn't moved to a four-day work week. It'd be like having a three-day weekend every week.

Sunday is usually the day we run errands, mostly because Saturday is spent sleeping in and recovering from Friday. This weekend, However, we partied quite a bit on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Oy.

Friday, after work, we met some buds at Rusty Taco. The veggie taco is good, and the guac is so-so. The beer is pretty cheap, though. It's summer in Texas, and we're getting triple-digit temps pretty regularly now. So, the cold beer helps with the hot sun, but man, Rusty Taco needs to put some fans out for the peeps!


House of England, keeping it real...

From there we went to one of Dave's old watering holes back when he was the Mayor of Greenville Avenue, and long before foursquare started doling out mayorships to any old drunk.

When we walked in, Dave knew at least half the joint, including the bartender, which served us some lukewarm beers. Otherwise, it was a great place to hang out. 


Dave with an old friend from high school.

And after that, we crossed the street to get to the Libertine, which is one of my favorite bars, mostly because of the beer selection, but also because they have some great bar food. I ran into the sister of a knitting friend, and Dave ran into some old bar buddies (of course). From there, we made our way back home. 

Saturday was kind of a blur. Dave suggested we take a long walk in the afternoon heat to "sweat out the toxins." I brought a water bottle with me on the hour-and-a-half trek, which is probably the only thing that kept me from tossing my cookies while jogging down a hill.

Later, we went to a friends' house in North Richland Hills, which is ridiculously far away from us, and yet can be considered in the same vicinity. It's like north Fort Worth. Everyone there had at least two children, one of which had one on the way (Congrats, Rob!). Dave and I, childless as we are, enjoyed several beers and the gracious hospitality of friends. I whipped up a pitcher of mojitos, drank several beers, and was done in by 9 p.m.

The next day, I was beginning to feel the two-day binge twinge.

I did have to do a lot of grocery shopping to do. Thank god for Target and Newflower Farmer's Market.

As soon as I got home, I made ANOTHER pitcher of mojitos!


Sunday night I made Chicago deep dish pizza and waxed nostalgic about our trip to the Windy City (which, I learned, is named as such because of politics, not actual wind [Thanks, Maiden!])


I also made a thin-crust pizza with grilled Calabaza squash and green peppers, onions, and queso fresco. I highly recommend it!

After that, I slipped into a food coma for the night.

We've been watching The Pacific all weekend, and I really love it. It's like getting your history credit and watching a good war flick at the same time.

And today, well, let's not talk about today, shall we? Let's just look at another cool picture from Friday night: