Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tyler Roses

There is a local woman who takes her van to the Brookshire's parking lot in "The Rose Capital of the Nation" every day. The Van says "Tyler Roses, Dozen - $2.50." Dang, that's inexpensive! I pass by that lady nearly every day, and I'd heard a lot about the roses around here, so I finally stopped by. I got some coral-colored roses. They didn't look superb, but for that price I didn't care. I just love flowers. So I brought them home and we cut all the leaves and thorns off. They looked nice enough all trimmed and put together, but the next day and the day after that, they were simply spectacular. They bloomed bigger than I'd ever seen a store-bought rose do, and I fell in love. These were for real! And locally grown. How awesome!

If I had a job, I think I'd feel justified in buying myself a dozen every week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dirk, What a Stud

So I know I mentioned him in the last post, but he's fantastic. Today I read this little letter in the Dallas Morning News.

Nowitzki is more than just a great basketball player. He's also a gentleman.

Some years ago, my wife and I went to Theatre Three for a production in that intimate downstairs theater. We were seated on the second row from the stage. Dirk came in and sat down directly in front of me. I didn't know how I would be able to see the play. But when it began, Dirk leanded forward, put his elbows on his thighs, so as to make a smaller profile, and remained that way throughout the evening. I saw everything.

It was a very thoughtful gesture, one I expect he's repeated many times in public places. What a gentleman!

This is such a refreshing piece of information. I'm glad that he chooses to be different from all the self-centered, limelight-loving, cocky players that often play professional sports.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dallas Mavericks

So...I was out of town when this happened (bummer), but it HAPPENED and it was greatness.

I'm happy for you, Dirk. You totally deserve this.

And you two, that's what you get for mocking the best player on the best team in the NBA!

What's that you say? Oh, that's right, we are the finals champions.

Couldn't have done it without this little guy.

Or this old guy. ;-)

Yay Dallas Mavericks! Congratulations!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sara Evans | A Little Bit Stronger

This is a pretty new song that really struck me. My favorite part is "I know my heart will never be the same, but I'm tellin' myself I'll be okay...even on my weakest days...."

It's really true. At some points, life gets really hard, and sometimes you're going to feel like you simply can't do it anymore, but you just have to get up and live your life. Sometimes you have to ignore the pain until it slowly dulls and eventually leaves you. That doesn't mean you'll forget, but you'll be so much stronger if you just keep going. Perhaps your heart will never be the same, but after an experience like that, you know you can make it through anything—that you are stronger than the circumstances of your life, and that knowledge is priceless.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blueberry Banana Cake

If you're like me and don't really like blueberries, and only mildly like bananas, the title of this blog post just ain't that appealing. But slap your grandma! This is by far the best cake I've ever had in my life. Seriously.

My old roommate and a friend made this for me for my birthday last year, and I decided to make it for my mom's this year. Brief description: a delicious dense cake that includes fresh bananas and blueberries topped with cream cheese frosting.

Cue picture from the website to make you want it.

Anyway, here are the...


3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons rum (optional)
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (from about 3 bananas)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups blueberries, washed and picked over

For the cream cheese icing:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package light cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
3 cups confectioners' sugar
Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper, with enough paper that paper hangs over the two long sides. Grease lightly with baking spray or butter.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer) cream the butter with the sugars. Blend in the eggs one at a time, and whip until creamy. Add the vanilla and rum, if using, as well as the bananas. Mix until creamy.

Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the mixture roughly, but do not combine completely. In a large measuring cup, mix the lemon juice with the milk. (Reserve the lemon zest for the icing.) With the mixer running, slowly pour the milk into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Mix until smooth. Fold in the blueberries. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 75 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (Start checking after 60 minutes.) When the cake is firm and a tester comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven. Run a knife between the cake and the short edges of the pan to help release the cake. Lift up on the parchment paper to remove the whole cake from the pan, and place the cake, parchment and all, on a cooling rack. Place the rack in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and let the cake cool completely before icing.

For the icing: In a large bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together until very smooth, with no lumps remaining. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon rum, if using. Add the confectioners sugar, reserved lemon zest, and salt and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake. Garnish with blueberries and sliced almonds.

End directions.

The recipe is from this website. It makes a lot of cake, but hey, that's okay, because if you keep it in the fridge it stays fresh for a long time.

And here are a couple of pictures of how mine turned out!

It's delicious, I tell you!