Friday, December 18, 2009

Foodie Friday - Puff Pastry Pork Chops

I'm very excited to say that this is another one of my original creations!! I was very nervous about this as I couldn't find any recipe even remotely similar to what I envisioned for this, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. And it turned out juicy, full of flavor, and delicious! My only complaint was that the sauce was a bit salty hence the "low sodium" soy sauce suggestion below.

Natty's Puff Pastry Pork Chops
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C low sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 C red wine
  • 3 pork chops (you can adjust this for more, but you may need more puff pastry)
  • 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • goat cheese (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil in large, shallow pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent. 
  3. Add soy sauce and red wine.
  4. Place pork chops in pan and cover.
  5. Saute for 5 minutes, flip and saute for 5 more minutes.
  6. Remove pork chops from pan and let cool.
  7. Roll out puff pastry to thin it out a little.
  8. Cut into three even sections.
  9. Place pork chops in the middle of each section* and wrap, pinching the edges together to seal.
  10. Place pork chops seam side down on greased baking sheet.
  11. Whisk egg with 1 teaspoon of water and brush the top of each puff pastry wrapped pork chop.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
  13. While that is baking, turn the heat back on. In a separate small container mix cornstarch into about 1/4 C water.
  14. Pour into sauce pan.
  15. Stir to thicken. You can eyeball this, if it starts to get too thick, add more red wine.
  16. Pour a small amount of sauce over puff pastry and serve!
*At this step, I put a little goat cheese in the center of the puff pastry and then placed the pork chop on top. It was really, really good, but I understand that not all people love goat cheese as much as I do.

Also, feel free to marinade the pork chop in soy sauce, red wine, store bought marinade, etc. beforehand if you want- it will only add to the flavor!

As always with the recipes I create (all two times!), there's a certain amount of eyeballing it required. This is written as I remember it... and when I cook, I typically don't measure anything... so if something doesn't look right, you may need to edit the recipe as you go. I may go back and cook this again following this recipe exactly and edit it as needed.

*Edited to add... I just realized that when I wrote this I forgot about the mushrooms. It has been awhile since I first made this, so I'm pretty sure I added about 3/4 C of sliced mushrooms after step 2 when I made this for the Masterchef audition. But it would definitely be tasty without them as well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Grandfatherly Love

I would like to openly admit here on moose and lulu that I have an old man crush. I would venture to say that most women have old men crushes whether they choose to admit it or not. I actually have two. Well, I probably have more than two if you count George Clooney, but let's face it- everyone has a crush on George Clooney. I know guys that have crushes on George Clooney, so that kind of voids his old man crush status. (Harrison Ford and the late JFK also fall into this category in case you were wondering). Oddly enough, both of my crushes fall under the "news" anchor category. I put that in quotes, because I'm not sure the first really qualifies as a bonafide news anchor.

And to be sensitive to those out there that are of a certain age, to me, an old man crush = a man who is of an age in which you would not consider it appropriate dating. For me, that's anyone who could be my father. So 45+ would be considered an old man crush for someone of my age... yes, even despite the fact that 45 is the new 25.

Numero Uno:
Matt Lauer. This morning he was interviewing that poor little grandmother that got kidnapped and beat up a few months ago and he was so sweet with her. I would venture to say that he was almost flirting with her. Which I'm sure just made her year. I don't know what it is about him, he's just sexy for an old man. And I realize he's not that old, but he's definitely of the age that he could be my father, so that qualifies him.

Numero Dos:
Charles Gibson. Ha! This is probably the more surprising out of the two. Maybe it's because he's been delivering the news in one capacity or another to our house for as long as I can remember, but I just love this guy. He puts off such a calming but informative front and more importantly, just seems to have a really kind soul.

I almost got the chance to meet him a few months ago. Some of our clients occasionally do a show called "Good Morning Texas" and when they do, I have to go down to the WFAA studio to make sure everything goes smoothly. Some days it's pretty boring, others you'll walk in and there will be huge stars, big time chefs, or even random exotic animals.

So I walked in- and he was in the studio. I'm not usually shy, but for some reason I couldn't make myself go up and say hi. So I just gawked at him from the greenroom for awhile. Which is sad, because I am sure he is just as kind in person as he is on the news. I know, I know... I'm such a dork.

However, I can definitely defend myself with these two, since my friend Julie's old man crush is none other than.....
Regis Philbin

I mean, REALLY jules?!

Anyone have a more embarrassing old man crush than hers or mine?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hello lover...

I adore discovering new products at the grocery store. You would expect things like computers, cellphones, and other techie things to get more advanced with time, but food? Food just seems like it would be one of those things that "it is what it is". But if you think about the availability and selection of products in our grocery stores now compared to our grandparent's generation- that is definitely not the case.

I mean, really, who would have thought that you would one day be able to buy ready-to-go cheesecake filling in a tub at the grocery store? Which, I'm sorry, but that whole thing just seems kind of gross to me. And you KNOW there are people out there that buy that sh*t and just eat it out of the tub. I suppose I shouldn't be talking since I will slather nutella on ANYTHING, but I digress....

Anyways, lookie what I found on my most recent trip to the grocery store:
Why didn't they think of this sooner?!

I'm so excited. I haven't tried it yet, but will be sure to report back when I do. I'm a huge chocolate mousse fan, which is probably genetic since my mom spent an entire day in the 80's filling every empty container in the kitchen with chocolate mousse when she was attempting to replicate her favorite version of the dessert from a restaurant called Andrew's (which sadly isn't around anymore, but for you Dallasites, it used to be where the Breadwinners on McKinney now sits). I mean, she made batches and batches of this stuff trying to get it to come out just like Andrews'. She filled bowls, tupperware containers, cups, probably even our dog's food bowl.

I have actually never made the real stuff, because I found a "cheater" version from Nigella Lawson that is so good that I've never really felt the need to delve further into exploring the recipes that require you to temper and whip eggs. (Nigella's version = no tempering of any kind) My girlfriends get very excited when I bust this one out after cooking dinner for them. My favorite way to serve it is in a martini glass with white chocolate shaved on top because I'm sassy like that.

Enjoy!

Nigella Lawson's Instant Chocolate Mousse
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 9 ounces best quality semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup hot water from a recently boiled kettle
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan on the stove, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile whip the cream with the vanilla until thick and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
  4. Pour or scrape into 4 or 6 glasses or small dishes and chill until you want to eat. The sooner the better!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Moose Monday

This is officially moose's new favorite spot to hang. I don't know if he likes the lights, or the soft treeskirt, or just the fact that it's something new in his little wiener dog world, but he just loves to sit under the tree, duck his little head, and look at us. It's cute, but I must admit that with his opposition to spending quality time outdoors now that it's cold + a new tree in the house, I have been watching him very closely. If he decides to pee on my beloved west elm tree skirt, we are going to have words.

You hear that moose? Words.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

November in Pictures

I was apparently very iphone happy in November because when I just plugged it in to sync, I noticed I took a lot of pictures. So I decided I would share some of my favorites from the month!
The pups cuddled in at my parent's house on a cold night.
One of my favorite things about being a single girl... being able to have wine, cheese, and carbs for dinner and not having to justify it to anyone!
My fat puppy dog helping me organize some work files.
Kate and I sipping on champagne at the Neiman's girls night out event. Champagne + hors d'oeurves + $50 giftcard = two happy girls. We had a blast even if we both forgot that Neiman's doesn't take Visa and ended up having to figure out something to buy for EXACTLY $50.00. I'm sure they hated us!
Apparently I was very excited that North Park had put up their Christmas decorations!
Um, yeah.... until it resulted in this. Not all that smart looking back.
The pre-Twilight madness on opening night.
Before the movie, sporting my new favorite fall accessory- my fabulous "vintage" brown boots that were procured from the top of The Dot's closet. They're about 20 years old... love it!
Julie's kit kat birthday cake!
Julie's boyfriend, Brent, and I after the Tech vs. OU game. Guess what team Brent was rooting for?? Sorry Sooners!
We had a little family night out when my brother was here and went to Top Golf. Yes, I beat both my brother and my dad......... until they got the hang of it on the next game. Let's just say my winning streak didn't last long.
Bax cleaning up the dishes post-Thanksgiving.
Clint and The Dot hanging out in the new wine room at my parent's house during Thanksgiving. We definitely put a dent in their stock!
We capped the month off with a "W" over Baylor with the season closer taking place at the new Texas Stadium in Arlington. The tailgating was so much fun!

What a great month. Looking forward to an even better December!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Foodie Friday: Thanksgiving Edition

As promised, here are the two recipes that you need to save now in preparation for next year's Turkey Day. ESPECIALLY the dressing. I know a lot of people call it stuffing, but apparently when your family is from Mississippi it is most certainly not called stuffing. This is pretty much written in the Bible from my understanding.

This recipe is amazing. It's my "stuck on a desert island with one food", food. My "last meal if I'm ever on death row", food. And my roommate's "I thought I hated stuffing, but now after having this I realize I just hate my mom's stuffing", food. It's that good.

Without further adieu...

The "W" Family Thanksgiving Dressing

Ingredients:

Chicken Stock
* 4 lb. chicken
* 6 celery stalks, cut in thirds
* onion, quartered
* 4 garlic cloves, smashed
* 1-2 bay leaves
* water to cover the top of the chicken

Cornbread
* 1 C flour
* 1 C cornmeal
* 1 C milk
* 1 egg
* 4 t baking powder
* 1/2 t salt
* 1/4 C vegetable oil

Dressing
* 3 bunches of scallions, chopped
* 1 bunch of celery, chopped
* 2 onions, chopped
* 4 eggs, boiled and chopped
* 1 stick butter
* 1 pkg Pepperidge Farm herb seasoning stuffing
* 1 batch of cornbread (above)
* Chicken from stock
* 1 can cream of chicken soup
* 1 can cream of celery soup
* 1 t poultry seasoning
* 1 t garlic salt
* 1/2 t sage
* chicken stock (above)

Instructions:

Chicken Stock
1. Wash chicken inside and out.
2. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Stuff with some of the celery and onion.
4. Put all ingredients in an 8 quart pot, fill with water until chicken is submerged.
5. Boil on medium, covered, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160° (about an hour).
6. Remove chicken to cool, strain vegetables out of broth.


Cornbread
1. Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder together.
2. Mix milk, egg, and oil and add to dry mixture.
3. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.


Dressing
1. Chop onions, scallions and celery. Sauté in stick of butter.
2. Crumble cornbread in giant bowl add 8 oz. of stuffing mix.
3. Add sautéed veggies, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup and mix.
4. Add chopped up chicken.
5. Add chicken broth until mixture is soupy.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Add sage, garlic salt, and poultry seasoning.
8. Pour into greased baking dishes.
9. Can freeze at this point. When ready to cook mix in 1 beaten egg for small pan, 2 for medium, or 4 for large.
10. Bake at 325° until knife comes out clean.

*I'm having trouble finding the exact Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe that we used. I would post a similar one, but it was just so rich and delicious and I don't want to substitute a lesser recipe. Let me consult with my sous chef from that day (aka Clint) and see if I can locate it. Until then, I will tide you over with a pretty picture of it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Productive Turkey Day... I think so!

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for being able to cross off both #3 and #11 on my 30 x 30 list. Woo hoo for a productive two weeks! (dressing & cheesecake recipes coming on the next Foodie Friday!)

As I sit with a tummy full of turkey and review the list, I'm slightly amused/happy/unsurprised that of everything on the list, it seems the only few I have checked off are the culinary ones. :) A girl has to have priorities, I suppose.

Anyways, a happy happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I hope your day is filled with laughter, family, and full bellies.

Cheers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon Recap

Let's pretend there's nothing alarming about a tween fantasy movie causing cougars to fantasize about statutory rape
Let me preface this post by saying that I have never in my life done the whole "camp out to get: movie tickets/seats at the big rivalry college football game/free lawn chair at Ikea if you're one of the first 50 people" thing. And luckily, despite the madness of opening weekend, New Moon didn't fall into this category either.

By using my sweet talking skills and ohsohandy media connections, we were able to find two pre-screening tickets for last Thursday that required no waiting of any kind. And most importantly, required no buddy system bathroom breaks, camping out on the nasty movie theater lobby floor, and/or preplanned sustenance packing to survive the hours upon hours holding a place in line. I'm 27. As much as I love my teenage vamps... not gonna happen.

I had a blast going to see it opening weekend because a) the movie was great and b) the people watching was even better. I mean it was insane. The ENTIRE movie theater was taken over by women (and the occasional unlucky boyfriend) and I would say the median age was 14. I was late to the party on the first one (saw it the last weekend it was in theaters). So I missed the whole 150-shrieking-13-year-olds-at-first-glimpse-of-edward thing. As silly as it was, that energy is kind of contagious and a lot of fun.

On to the more important topics: vampires vs. werewolves. I was all about Team Edward prior to the movie, but as I read in an online review: this was Jacob's movie. The 2nd book was my least favorite out of the four, but I loved, loved, loved this movie. Taylor does a great job developing his character, and oh. dear. god. his personal trainer deserves a helluva raise. {reminder to self: he's 17, he's 17, he's 17, he's 17}

If you haven't seen it yet, go. Even if you don't think you're "into that kind of thing", go. It really is a great movie and entirely worth $10 and two hours of your time. And I won't spoil it.... but the ending is fabulous.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fall into the Gap

I don't know why, but I'm slightly obsessed with the Holiday 2009 Gap commercial. Like stop-the-dvr-to-watch-it, obsessed (that's when you know it's Bigtime, folks). As I think back on the marketing I've seen and remember, they typically do a pretty good job of creating compelling production that breaks through the clutter. Which is interesting since Old Navy is a sister company of Gap and I can't think of a SINGLE decent ON commercial in the history of their marketing- present advertising campaign most definitely included. (Seriously with the talking mannequins?!)

Anyways, back to the spot: I love the interesting texture of the set they chose, the fact that all the dancers just seem to genuinely be having FUN (I seriously want to find a slick floor and try that move at the end), and of course the choreography. Well done Gap... you stopped my dvr AND got me to add to the viral element of your campaign. Enjoy the free publicity!



Friday, November 13, 2009

Foodie Friday: Black Bean Tacos

This is the first foodie friday that I am posting one of my very own creations! Okay, so really this is the only recipe I've actually dreamt up that I make with any sort of consistency, but that's okay! You have to start somewhere and as someone who has been very dependent on cookbooks until fairly recently, I'm pretty darn proud of this one.

Bonus: it only uses one pot, one cutting board, and one knife. Which, if you are a messy cook like me, can be a great relief on a night you want to cook but don't feel like doing a bunch of dishes.

Natty's Black Bean Tacos
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can of rotel
  • 3-4 adobo peppers, chopped
  • 6-8 jalapeno slices, chopped
  • 1/4 C tequila
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/4 C cilantro, chopped
  • juice of a lime
  • tortillas
  1. Saute the onions in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and saute for a few more minutes. (hey this is my own recipe... exact timing is irrelevant!)
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except tortillas, duh) and simmer over medium low heat until some of the liquid reduces. About 10-15 minutes.
  3. Serve on tortillas, with a dollup of sour cream to cut the heat if you so desire, and a pinch of mexican blend cheese.
  4. Mix up a batch of margaritas to go alongside.
  5. Enjoy!
Chef's notes (ha! love saying that!): I like things SPICY. I mean, to the point where I'm sweating profusely, spicy. Therefore, if you are a pansy like things less spicy, please reduce the amount of jalapenos and, most importantly, the adobo peppers. Those little suckers are HOT. I wouldn't leave them out completely though because they give it a nice smoky, chipotle-esque flavor.

Also, the past two times I've made it, I've added chicken breasts cut up in small pieces. To make this even easier you can buy those little precooked grilled chicken strips and just chop them up. Throw that in the pot with everything else to make it a little more substantial.

Lastly, I was drinking a red zinfandel while I was cooking and the flavor of the wine completely changed with the food (in a good way!). I don't know if it was the smoky adobo peppers that paired well with the juicy quality of red zin, but I would highly recommend it if you would like to forgo step #4.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Translation Troubles

It's been about a month since the first email and "Pierre" and I are still talking on a frequent basis. Note: that's not his real name but that is what my mom has called him for the past eleven years and it has just kind of stuck.

After asking if I had a boyfriend, and me explaining that I was engaged but called it off:


Why you separated? Big kiss to my beautiful american!


Apparently after I was not very prompt with my email response:

I wait your message every day with impatience.


After talking about food & wine:

After I live in Bordeaux you come and we eat good things and we drink good wine. TOMORROW IS MY SUNSHINE!


A few of my favorites:

The topless in France and authorizes is normal.

What are your hoobies?

I think more often you.


And a few that thoroughly confused me:

Us you registered for the marathon in New York.

I thought I was the first time that it is for time passes too quickly.

When you see it will be a cooking competition every two.


And just for you, Elizabeth and Laura, :

My basketball team it is San Antonio with Tony Parker is the best.


The communication is pretty confusing/funny though, if anything, always entertaining. However, the coolest thing by far, is that after this whole thing started I dug around my closet and found his letters from ten years ago, and surprisingly I could read all of them with relative ease! I remembered struggling and laboring over every word when I was in high school. And even though I took quite a few french classes in college, I never felt like anything "sunk in". Well apparently it took more than I realized, because it was not as difficult as I remembered it being.

Yay for all those less than stellar foreign language credits doing something other than destroying my GPA!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why my brother is cooler than yours

I got this in the mail a couple days ago:

If you can't read it, it says:

Hey-
Saw this on somebody's fridge and thought of you... so I stole it. There may or may not have been some alcohol involved! :) Anyway, hope you had a great Halloween and I'm looking forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving!

xoxo,
Clint

And attached was the Schnauzer fridge magnet. I hate schnauzers. Hate them. I'm sorry if you have a schnauzer that you love dearly, but after getting bitten not once, but TWICE when I was little.... they just are not my favorite. And I love dogs.

So this little note just cracked me up. As a bill-paying grown up, getting the mail just isn't as much fun as when I was little {Highlights magazine, anyone?? hells yeah!}. It's always fun to find something totally random and hilarious to make up for all the people asking to drain my bank account.

Thanks Clint! You totally made my day!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Updates


Because I know you people are just DYING to know:
  • My blanket was found, picked up by a friend's mom (because the creepy lady at the trashy hotel assured me that if I just gave her my home address, credit card number, expiration date, and security code, she would give it to her friend to send to me... um, how about NO?!?) and is en route to Dallas as we speak. YAY!! THANKS SIDNEY!!
  • I ordered the cheese. I know, I know... but before you start into me for buying a $40 piece of cheese when "pay off credit card debt" is in the top five of my 30 x 30, I have an excuse: Shortly after that post, my mom and I were shoe shopping and she asked if I'd ordered it. I said no that I couldn't justify it especially since it probably wouldn't all get eaten considering it was a WHOLE POUND of cheese, and she said "Well, why not?? Order it and I'll help with the experiment". So there ya go... The Dot, as always, came in handy for further fostering my champagne tastes. Which I'm not sure if she realizes, but she really is encouraging me to use my blog as a wishlist of sorts. Shortly after the tomato basil soup/food mill post she came hauling in this. I must admit, I'm kind of loving how well this works! It's like having a genie in a lamp!*
*Secretly I think she just gets so excited with the warm and fuzzies when I say anything about cooking after a teenage comment I made about not needing to learn how to cook when there is fast food readily available that she encourages cooking in any. way. she. can. I think the visions of her at the age of 83 eating McDonalds at the Thanksgiving table ensured proper scarring for life.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Paybacks will be hell in the future...


... but for now I just can't resist!

My baby cousin, Kinley, just turned two and had her birthday party at a pumpkin patch a few weeks ago.

Being the wonderful family member that I am, I always take great care in choosing an appropriate gift for my favorite cousin's little girl. Last year for her first birthday it was one of those push popper thingies that makes a whole-lotta-noise. This year... BATH CRAYONS!

I got a text message last week with the picture above accompanied by the following message:

"Bathtub crayons are such a sweet gift. You shouldn't have! PS- I CAN'T WAIT until you have kids....."

Which I if I didn't know better, sounds an awfully lot like a threat, doesn't it? Which is kind of rude if you ask me. And besides, doesn't she just look like she's having so much fun??

I thought so too.

Love you cuz!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Costume Recap!

Halloween was a blast, as always. We had some of our friends over to the house and then walked to a few bars down the street. It was a good but random group of people and I hope/think that everyone mixed and mingled and had a lot of fun.

We had an interesting selection of costumes... from pop culture (swine flu & the falcon express) to traditional (french maid & flapper). I went as Ariel from the little mermaid and moose was Sebastian (yes, I know Sebastian was a crab not a lobster, but luckily it's been so long since anyone has seen the movie that I don't think anyone noticed.

The bar complete with spooky runner and cobwebs.
Some of the food: tombstone cupcakes, red velvet eyeball cakeballs, spider web cupcakes.

Annnnd the costumes:
flapper, nascar fan, 80's girl, hippie, a fat little girlfriend, french maid
Me and one of my oldest friends, Dusty. Dressed as he was back in his glory days as one of our alma mater's football players.
swine flu & fat little girlfriend... if you are confused by the latter, click here.
flapper, ariel, nascar fan
boy scout, gangster, nascar fan, drunk guy, eddie from Christmas Vacation, annnd rock star/gangter (I think?)

And my two favorite costumes of the night:
"Drunk Guy that passed out too early"
This guy came to the party in a dress with "BALLS" written across his forehead. He had three sharpies hanging around his neck and let everyone write all over him. It was hilarious and a very original. The things that were written on him also got fairly "original" as the night wore on.
And Jon & Kate plus 8.
I saw a few others on facebook that did this, but I'm sorry, Erika's resemblance of Kate in that wig is just downright creepy. Bonus points because moose thoroughly enjoyed having eight new "toys" to play with during the party.

Hope everyone had a fabulous halloween!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This was the Halloween card from my mom. I thought it was hilarious and very appropriate given the fact that all the stripper stores also turn into Halloween stores around this time of year.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a fabulous Halloween! We are having a pre-party (an excuse to bake the adorable tombstone cupcakes again) and then heading out on the town for the evening. I will be sure to post pictures later.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

French 101

{Rocamadour, France}

After the post last week about the $40 piece of cheese I started thinking about all the delicious food and all the memories from to my trip to France. It was over ten years ago, but some of the memories are as clear as if they were yesterday.

One of those memories is of this adorable guy that worked at one of the hotels that we stayed in. The night we arrived we went down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. It's so cheesy, but throughout dinner the waiter and I kept accidentally making eye contact. We were in this tiny little town called Rocamadour... just small enough that our chaperones let us roam around without much supervision. That night after the restaurant closed, the waiter came and hung out with a few of us. He was 17 and spoke very little english but it was fun to try to communicate with him despite the language barrier.

After exploring the little town with him for several hours, our curfew came and we had to go to our hotel room. I don't think he understood our curfew or why we had to leave because he stood outside below our balcony calling my name asking me to come back down. I know this sounds like something out of romance novel, but before your mind goes there... *trust me* it was all very innocent.

The next morning at breakfast he was there again, but wasn't allowed to talk to us while he was working, so before we left I slipped him my address. About three weeks after I got home, I got the first letter. Written in very broken English. So for the next year or so we wrote back and forth to each other. I would stay after school and my french teacher would help me translate everything. You can imagine the excitement of a 15 year-old girl when those letters with "Par Avion" stamped on the front would come in the mail from the dreamy french waiter.

After awhile we kind of lost touch. I had a boyfriend and was looking forward to college and was caught up in all the excitement of senior year.

So last week after I finished writing the post about the cheese, I closed blogger and facebook was open behind it. I figured it was worth a shot and typed in his name. Only one exact match came up and it was from France.

So, I sent him this:

Salut,

Avez
-vous habité une fois en Rocamadour?
Je ne suis pas sûr si vous me rappelez, mais je pense que je vous ai rencontré en 1998.

Si non, mes excuses.

Natalie

And got this in return:

i m very happy to see you. i have miss your address i live next marseille on the cote d azur i work in restaurant i m the chef of the waiter and you where do you live what is your job. your french its perfect.

And we've probably exchanged a dozen emails since. I write him in French (thank GOD for google translator!!) and he writes back in English. It lacks the storybook charm that receiving those hand-written, "Par Avion" stamped letters had, but the turnaround time is definitely much quicker.

I know it's probably silly to be spending time writing to someone I will probably never see again, but it's just so fun to have a reason to put the hours and hours of french classes to use... and I have to admit that the 15 year-old girl in me is still stupidly giddy.

I may have to start a new weekly post about his emails. It is pretty funny how some of the things he tries to say translate. Although, I have no doubt that my french probably translates pretty roughly as well.

Check back for updates!

à la prochaine...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lubbock Trip... Fun: A+ ; Football: F

52-30, A&M.
I believe that says it all.

And besides, pictures are way more fun:
Our favorite college hang-out. This place has consumed more of our money, memories, and liver function than I would care to openly admit. We have cried here, snuck in here, been kicked out of here, and most often- danced and laughed our asses off here. Blue Light will always have a special place in our hearts*.
Jodi experiencing Blue Light's finest... the deliciousness that is the "Call-a-Cab". Being that she is an Oregon girl, we probably should have warned her that drinking these two at a time was not a good plan.
Rachel and I enjoying our girls night out after the boys had left.
Saturday morning. Yes, I made Alex drive me past it. :) So much has changed on greek circle, especially with the fraternity houses, so it was nice to see that our little house was still looking the exact same as I remember. As we were taking this picture, a carload of baby Kappa Sig's drove by and started laughing at me. Yes, I may be old, but at least with my age has come a new and improved fashion sense:
I am quite certain I could find some pretty embarrassing outfits in my collegiate photo collection, but really?? There was a lot going on here, but the boots on the left with the distinct Ed Hardy-ish vibe were my personal favorite. I am confident that these girls will soon learn there is definitely something to be said for keeping it simple and classy.
Self portrait roomie shot in the stands.
A picture Alison took right before kick-off.
Our aggie friends that we met when we left around half-time to go drown our sorrows at the Chili's across the street. We made a little wager with them and every time Tech scored they would buy us a shot and every time A&M scored we would buy them a shot. Um, yeah... that did NOT work in our favor.
However, they were good sports and played along when I picked out a certain shot (which will remain nameless here on moose and lulu) in which you weren't allowed to use your hands to drink it. I was a little shocked and highly amused that they agreed to do this in a crowded bar. Gotta love shameless 22 year old boys.
Back at the game. It was still an embarrassing scene when we returned.
And finally, post-game, all bundled up and choosing to enjoy our last night in Lubbock despite our team not showing up.

It was so fun to be back in Lubbock, even with a let-down for a game. As much as everyone complains about it, you can't help but smile when you see the landmarks of the city where you created memories and friendships that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

*A throw back for old-times sake. The wall at Blue Light on one of our last nights before graduation. It has since been painted over to make room for the next round of college kids: