Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Life!

We have so much to be thankful for! I was overwhelmed today at church just how very blessed we are! God is so good and so gracious to us. Thank you, Jesus, for saving us and for giving so freely to us your goodness. Our hearts are so full!

Our house is always hopping with two kids now! (We wouldn't have it any other way!) Ethan & Annaliese entertain each other and are crazy about each other!

Look at those skinny legs! :-)

Annaliese's first baby food - rice cereal....she liked it!

Bathtime is over.....peek-a-boo!

I LOVE this picture!

Check out those shoes! :-)

Happy girl!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ten Years!!!

This weekend, Bobby & I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary! Can you believe it? So, on Saturday, Dad & Laura came over to babysit Annaliese and we took Ethan over to Pop & Gigi's, and Bobby took me to dinner to a restaurant I have wanted to go to for years. It is called the Tasting Room at Lola. The eleven (yes.....ELEVEN) courses were so amazing and it was the perfect anniversary spot! It was the closest I'll ever be to being an "Iron Chef America" judge, so I thought I'd write my own review.....

Heidi & Bobby on our 10 year date night! I don't think we look ten years older, do you?

The Tasting Room at Lola
Upon entering the 1930's house that has been converted to a restaurant in Uptown Dallas, you are warmly greeted by the restaurant's owner, Van Roberts, who escorts you to your table. Unlike its presumed pretentious address, the restaurant is elegantly understated and the servers are down-to-earth. The white linen tablecloths and tan walls are the perfect backdrop to showcase both the original artwork on the walls painted by the owner, and the culinary works of art prepared by Chef David Uygur and Sous Chef Michael Marusak. It was evident that the restaurant, from the owner to the staff to the patrons, were all people that just really love good food.

Maine oyster with mignonette and fines herbes
Before we ate this first course, Bobby & I thought this might be our least favorite of the evening since we are not "oyster people". To our surprise, we loved it and this was one of our favorites. The mignonette sauce was incredible and the shallots and chives made it very fresh tasting. We are now oyster people assuming they can be prepared like this!

Pecos cantaloupe and crab salad with pickled onions
(I accidentally took a couple bites before taking this picture.) This salad was so light and refreshing. I might try to recreate this myself whenever I host a shower or brunch. The cantaloupe and crab go splendidly together. There was a cantaloupe infused sea salt that they finished the dish with that was out of this world! And the mint chiffonade added another incredible layer of flavor.

Chilled cucumber soup with creme fraiche, salmon belly and dill
(Again, I accidentally took a couple bites before taking the picture.) The chilled cucumber soup by itself tasted, well, like cucumber. But, when you marry the soup with the creme fraiche, the salmon tar tare and the brioche croutons....WOW!

Sockeye salmon with piquillos, brandade and olives
This was Bobby & my favorite dish of the night. The crispy skinned salmon was seasoned perfectly and was served over a salad of arugula and a piquillos pepper stuffed with a cod brandade. It was just delightful! The pepper had no heat to speak of and was more sweet than anything. The saltiness of the kalamata olives added another nice dimension to the dish.

Blackberry acid float
This was our "palette cleanser". This was a yummy, playful dish. It was rather simple, just blackberry juice mixed with club soda over a homemade vanilla ice cream.

Risotto with fennel and house-cured ham
I love a good risotto, and this dish did not disappoint. I loved how the licorice flavor from the fennel infused throughout the rice. In fact, if it is possible, I tasted more "fennel taste" in the rice than the actual roasted fennel piece on top (perhaps the roasting mellowed out the flavor a bit). The shaved aged Parmesan cheese on top was delicious, as was the house cured ham.

Texas quail and peaches with salsa verde and couscous
(I took a few bites before realizing I had not yet taken a picture.) This was probably the most mellow-flavored dish of the night and my least favorite. Although that is not to say I didn't like it - it was very good. I was hoping to get a little bit of heat from the salsa verde, but it was more sweet that hot. The peaches were a nice addition to the dish.

Lamb loin with succotash
This lamb was amazing! The seasoned crust was oh so good! It was tender, flavorful and cooked perfectly. The succotash and it's sauce gave the dish a "comfort food" feel that was most welcome. I told Bobby over this dish that I could substitute this dish for a good steak and he agreed. That is a huge compliment coming from two Texans who love a good steak!

Assortment of cheeses with crackers and onion/pistachio chutney
I love cheese, as most of you know, so this was a highlight of the evening for me. We had a blue cow's cheese from England, a brie-like goat's milk cheese from Sonoma County, CA, and a cheddar-like sheep's milk cheese from Oregon (sorry, I can't remember the exact cheese names). As amazing as the cheeses were, my favorite part of the dish was the onion/pistachio chutney. The onions were candy-like in a marmalade and then it was infused with hot mustard seeds. I finally had the heat I was hoping for at some point of the evening!

Lemon crema frita with almond crust and roasted plums
We were really running out of room at this point, but there is always room for dessert right? This was good, but I could have done without the fried crema frita at this point - it was just too heavy. The roasted plums with the lemon infused whipped cream and raw almonds would have been just right, so that is what I ate!

House-made shortbread cookies, candied orange peel and chocolates

The bite of homemade chocolate at the end of the meal was perfection. It was dark and velvety. The candied orange peel was divine and it made me inspired to try to make some at Christmas-time.

All in all, I highly recommend the tasting room at Lola. It was truly a night to remember!

Mommy & Me Brunch

Many of our friends have had babies in the last year.....there have been close to a dozen! It has been so fun to share in the excitement with everyone and to have friends going through the same "life stages" as us!

My friend, Christy, had the great idea to do a "Mommy & Me" brunch this past Saturday so we can get all the babies together and to celebrate this special time in all of our lives. Only about half of our friends with babies were able to make it, but it was such a fun time to visit with the mommies and have a photo opportunity with all the babies.

Crista with Graham, LaShai with Jada, Christy with Matthew and Kim with Hudson

All the babies.....(L to R) Jada, Graham, Hudson, Matthew & Annaliese

Four Months Old

Sweet Annaliese is Four Months Old already! Where has the time gone? I took her for her 4-month check up and vaccinations last Wednesday and here are her updated measurements:

25" Long (75th percentile)

16 1/2" Head Circumference (75th percentile)

11 lbs. 7 oz. (10-25th percentile)

She is long and skinny! Doctor says everything looks great. She is getting very strong and using her legs to "stand" and is sitting with the assistance of pillows. Also, her two bottom teeth have just started to break through! We also have the "okay" from the doctor to start giving her baby food, so I'm sure we'll have some fun pictures of that to post in the next couple of weeks!