Savory Delights

I was super excited when Rocco Dispirito's new cookbook Now Eat This! Diet came out. So we ordered it and the other day I picked out some recipes to try. So, last night we tried making the "Flash-Fried Chicken Carnitas" and the "Chicken and Cheese Jalapeño Poppers". Overall, I'd say they were a success.
The poppers were fantastic. They were yummy and looked great and they were easy to make. You can find the recipe here. Chicken and Cheese Jalapeño Poppers.  

The carnitas definitely were more time-consuming and a little more difficult to follow since you have to make sure you have the correct temperatures when heating the chicken stock and the grapeseed oil. And they were way too salty, so we'll probably cut down on the adobo and the salt next time. Here's the basic recipe although the directions aren't as detailed as in the book. Flash-Fried Chicken "Carnitas"

So, while we were waiting for the chicken to cook, we went outside and I took pictures of Jason and Titan. There were storms nearby so the lighting outside was really cool.

The Heartbeat at Our Feet

Ever since I was born, there have been dogs in the house.  First there was Pooky the Pekingese, then there was Oreo the Cocker Spaniel.  And while I remember them, they weren't my favorite pets, and let's be honest, they really weren't that nice either.  But, once my brother bought a puppy Husky in 2009 and I had bought my house and was living by myself, I was inspired and figured I should probably get a watch dog anyways.  I had always thought German Shepherds were handsome and smart, so I finally got Titan.

Now Titan is definitely handsome; we sometimes catch him sitting all stoic-like in the yard, overseeing his land.  But, we do sometimes question if he's actually as smart as German Shepherds are supposed to be.  He still runs into walls and chases his tail and tries to catch floating fur balls in his mouth.  But he's so darn cute!!!
  Now that I'm working from home, he gets to spend a lot more time in the office with me, and I have fallen even more in love with him.  It's so funny when he rolls around on his back with his toys in his mouth, or tries to hide his bones in the middle of pillows, or cocks his head when you say his name.  And it's moments like that, that make me truly value the companionship of dogs.  The way that they are so content, with seemingly so little.  It's so crazy how even after you yell at them for trying to eat the cat or have been gone for two minutes or two weeks, they still want to slobber you with affection.  I could definitely learn a lesson or two from Titan's simple view of how companionship should be.
So, until Jason and I want children, Titan will be our baby.  I spoil him with toys and cozy beds he probably doesn't care about.  I am always trying to snap pictures of him being silly or cute.  When he's sick, we get up in the middle of the night to take care of him (well, I try, Jason is the one that normally gets up).  But regardless of the circumstances, I can't imagine life now without Titan in it.  He brings so much joy and laughter to our day, and because of that, I hope that he will be the heartbeat at our feet for a very, very long time.

Key Club Happenings

It was that time of year again. That time where I voluntarily put myself through the wringer and run around like my head was cut off. It was time for the Texas-Oklahoma District Key Club Convention.

When I was in high school, I was really involved in Key Club. It was the one thing that kept me grounded as I moved 3 high schools in 4 years. Soooooo, when Jeff, one of the Assistant Administrators, asked me to stay on as an Convention Intern after I graduated, I stayed. And then I graduated from college, and I stayed. And now a full 6 years after getting involved I'm still staying, which must mean something. I guess I like it? :)

This year, Jason was sweet enough to come along for the entire weekend and help out and I think he's hooked now! When people ask me what I do, it's a bit hard to explain what the role as T-O Events Specialist entails. I handle some of the logistics for the convention that caters to over 1,100 Key Clubbers and their sponsors, I help set the stage, I help write scripts, I set up teleprompters, I pick all the music for all events and a lot more. Our convention team consists of 5 people, and even with Jason helping, we were always busy and putting in 16 hour days.

There's something rewarding about being involved in an influential high school volunteer organization. Working for Key Club also had an unexpected plus to it. It was actually by working for Jeff for Key Club that he decide that one day he'd like to hire me. So, 6 years later, I started working for the same guy that I help Key Club with. And I love my job!

Top:  Jeff and I wrapping a box to put on the stage as decoration.  Bottom:  Pomping decorations with some Key Clubbers
Back Row (left to right):  Jeff M., Assistant Administrator; Daniel M., 2010-2011 Convention Liaison.  Front Row (left to right): Krishna S., 2010-2011 Convention Intern; John D., IT Specialist; Me, Events Specialist

These are a few of my favorite things...

So, two of my most favorite things are good friends and sushi! And last night, Jason and I were able to enjoy both. We both love entertaining, and since I am finally back home from my training in Dallas, we decided to have two of our favorite married couples over, John and Amy (top) and Eric and Ashley (bottom). And since Jason is a 5-star sushi chef, we had to treat them to some yummy sushi!!

We started the afternoon off at Super Cao Nguyen in OKC. This Asian supermarket is brimming with all kinds of international foods, so we stocked up on sushi essentials and headed back home.

After Jason had prepped all the food and John and Amy had arrived, the sushi rolling began! Amy wanted to get a crash course in sushi-making, so she tried her hand at the art, and she was a quick learner! While they were making sushi, my parents stopped by with Aunt Debbie, one of my mom's best friends who was in town for the weekend. Aunt Debbie had never had sushi before, so she watched Jason make some rolls and tried a couple, and she liked it!! It was definitely fun having them over for a little bit.

After several hours of hard work and 16 rolls of sushi, made with love from Jason, we all finally sat down to a delicious dinner. Also, since John is not a sushi fan, we bought some Rudy's barbecue for John and tried to make him feel like part of the sushi club. :)

After dinner, we watched the basketball games and had mochi, a Japanese rice cake that has sherbet in it. But that wasn't before we all tried some durian. It's a stinky fruit that is popular in Asian countries. Amy and John were kind enough to bring it so we could indulge in this fruit. It was quite the experience! Eric likened the smell of the fruit to mildew and I thought it smelled like a dirty locker. But the taste was quite offputting. Now it's not quite as revolting as I had imagined it was going to be, but it tasted pretty bad.

Last night was a fabulous night! I could not be more proud of Jason and his amazing sushi-making skills. He undoubtedly exceeded our guests' expectations and it was a yummy meal. And last, but not least, I could not be more thankful for the sweet friends and couples in our lives. It was so much fun spending time with them and talking about all kinds of things, and watching the Final Four games. I definitely hope this becomes a routine event, because friends and sushi are a few of my favorite things. :)