Monday, December 5, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
- 1 loaf of crusty French bread
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup cooked diced ham (I just bought one thick slice from the deli counter)
- 1/3 cup chopped green chiles
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (I think I took out the seeds when I made it, but include them if you want it to be spicy!)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Our real anniversary was back in July, but since it was our first anniversary, and we think that's pretty important, we wanted to take a small trip to celebrate. Nothing huge, just a fun night downtown. Since our anniversary fell around the time we were buying the house, we decided it would be better to wait to take our special trip - so we took it in October!
Lan, being the awesome husband he is, planned a visit to the King Tut exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art during our trip. He was less than interested in the exhibit, but I was really excited about it. I have a weird interest in Egyptology, and some of the items in the exhibit had never been to the US before!!! I was bummed when I found out that the actual King Tut and his iconic burial mask would not be part of the exhibit. They are too "old" and "fragile" to travel or something. LAME. But the exhibit was still awesome, by my standards. Lan even enjoyed himself a little.
We stayed at Hotel ZaZa. It's in the boutique hotels of the world top ten list, and in the top 20 hotels in Houston (out of 425 on Trip Advisor). It was very trendy and chic. It was a really fun place to stay. It was one of those places with a stacked mini-bar but the cheapest candy bar available was, like, $5 or something ridiculous. We were very careful not to eat those! Hotel ZaZa is right next door to the museum, so they had a special partnership with them - get VIP tickets to the exhibit and a special deal on a room through the King Tut Package. So we did that. Lan got a great deal on a suite, which was awesome. You could rent movies through the hotel's movie service through the TV, which was cool, but really pricey. They even had movies that weren't out on video yet! I thought that was neat, but those movies cost what you would pay for two movie tickets to see them in theaters.
For dinner that night, we ate at a Brazilian Steakhouse we had a Living Social coupon for. Lan had been to a Brazilian Steakhouse before and LOVED it. It's a very manly place. You pay an all-you-can-eat price and get an unlimited selection of meats. They have hot sides and a yummy salad bar, and your waitstaff comes around with different meat selections for you to try - lamb (actually, this was my favorite), bacon wrapped filet, various types of steak, sausage, chicken, etc. They also served fried bananas and grilled pineapple - YUM. It was very good. We always said we didn't think it was worth the money for me to go (and pay full price... all I can eat is not all that much), and we were right. Lan said he didn't think I would like it any more than other fancy restaurant, and he was right. I enjoyed it, but for the money, I'd rather go to the Melting Pot or a nice steakhouse.
Pictures of the Hotel Lobby:
Lots of love from Houston,
L and J
Friday, November 4, 2011
Jacques Torres' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Makes twenty-six 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4-inch cookies (that's a lot, so I reduced the recipe by half, I think)
1 pound unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour (3 parts cake flour to 1 part all purpose flour)
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used chips)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.
- Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies.
- Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
You MUST try these! They are yummy.