Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Kristen!

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to my soon to be sister-in-law, Kristen, whose birthday is today. Kristen is very cool and a real sweetheart and I couldn't be happier that Doug has invited her to join our family. I hope you have a great day, K, and Happy Birthday!

Kristen in her natural habitat

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blue Foods: Crime against Nature or Powerful Medicines?

So, my mother has always had this weird thing against blue foods. Luckily there aren't that many edible items that come in blue, but it does mean she abstains from things like blueberry pancakes and blue M&Ms.

Yes, you heard me. Blue M&Ms. Don't ask, I don't even know.

This morning I tried out a new snack item. We generally don't keep a lot of sugary foods in the house, unlike a few years ago. I no longer have cookies stashed in the cupboard or bags of Skittles and Hot Tamales lying around. I very rarely even indulge in my nightly bowl of cereal anymore. What I do enjoy is a mid-morning or post dialysis snack of Eggos and Starbucks frappuccino. Don't judge! Hey, the Eggos are Nutri-Grain, that's kinda healthy, right?

Anyway, the last time I was at the store I thought I would branch out and try the blueberry flavor Eggos and this morning I cracked open the box for the first time. Immediately upon placing the Eggos on the plate I suspected there was something off.

Wafting up from the plate was, unfortunately, a sickly sweet smell similar to a McDonald's McGriddle.

I guess I should have known. Eggos don't really taste like waffles - they're fake food. They have their own distinct flavor, much like Taco Bell doesn't taste like Mexican food. So adding artificial blueberry flavor to the mix actually makes them taste worse. I didn't even make it to the second waffle and was beginning to suspect my mother was on to something.

Strangely, a little later I was checking the news online and stumbled upon this article that says they've been having success with research on spinal injuries using mice treated with the same blue dye found in M&Ms. The side effect, and there always is one it seems, is that it temporarily turns the mice blue. Somehow I think folks with spinal injuries could live with the Violet Beauregarde look if it helped them walk again. I think this is an incredible breakthrough and I couldn't wait to share it with my mom. I now have new evidence that proves the blue M&Ms are not as evil as she claims.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 27 is a special day

Tomorrow is the birthday of two of my favorite people, my mom and my good friend Nicole. Saturday night a group of us gathered at the Z Tejas to celebrate Nicole's birthday a wee bit early. We then ventured out to Donn's Depot for drinks.

Matt and Nicole enjoying the ambiance and fuzzy wallpaper of the Donn's.

Juan and his new friend who kept appearing to stand mute by our table. We chose to call him "Steve".

Tonight Ryan and I made our way south to San Marcos for some dinner and cake to celebrate my mom's birthday. My folks have just returned from their trek to Brazil and were sharing stories and some amazing pictures of their adventure.

My mom's favorite cake is called Helen Corbitt chocolate cake and has this caramel icing that is easy to royally screw up. I set out yesterday afternoon to attempt making this cake and decided, "Hey, if I'm already making one cake, I should just go ahead and make another for Nicole!"

Mom and cake

The cakes miraculously turned out ok, but I was definitely tired of cooking by the time I was finished. I honestly don't know how people who cook for a living manage. My guess is that our concrete floors that were installed last year that we love so much weren't doing my back any favors. Especially since I never wear shoes unless forced. I'm thinking some cushy carpeted runners for the kitchen would help.

Anyhoo, it's been a fun weekend but I'm kind of wiped today after hanging out with party animal Nicole last night so this is a shorter entry than it should be. My apologies to the birthday girls.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Happy Birthday, Nicole!