Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Weekend In Photos (and Also, Words).

Shoot. Let's just pretend like it hasn't been ten days since my last blog. Sorry about that, friends. And after I was such a super blogger the week before last, too. Last week I was busy cooking delicious dinners every night. And by that I mean, busy cooking nothing at all and going out to dinner with my handsome studier. Bad for the budget, lovely for our White Hot morale.

Well, now that we've gotten that out of the way, woo hoo three-day weekend. How was yours? Mine was just delightful.

I'd love to tell you about it...

First, Friday kicked off with a lunch date with my sweet friend, followed by trips to Target and the grocery. Then, Hugh took me out on a little dinner date. Followed by a 9:30pm bedtime. What can I say? We get up early around this place.

Saturday morning was a trip to the market, just me and Fletcher. I would show you a picture, but I could barely manage to wrangle the dog and my wallet and my bag of produce; I'm pretty sure I was that girl (You know, that pet owner with the seemingly ill-behaved pet we all love to judge. Yep, totally me.). Needless to say, I don't think a trip to the market with the dog is a one person activity.

Then there was the garden. My flowers are just blooming like crazy. A few specimens:





Saturday night we grilled some farmer's market bounty (asparagus and okra) along side whole trout stuffed with lemon and herbs from the garden:




Sunday morning there was cooking for my favorite IBD patient:

Scrambled eggs and rice - breakfast of champions.


And there was soaking up every second of Down Day with this (beardless) face:



Someone in this house is really enjoying the success of my garden catnip:



Our favorite pup spent the afternoon being crazy in the sprinkler:



And then just generally being a beauty:



Sunday night we make a last minute trip to the movies for a little Hangover 2. It was pretty darn funny. Our smuggled in beverage of choice didn't hurt.

Monday, our favorite med student was back to the books, while I spent the day working on a little project. I'm saving the reveal until I'm completely finished, but here's a little sneak peak:

I know, I'm so handy, right?


And then, studying was done (for the day, people; don't get too excited) and all rejoiced. Someone plays so hard with his daddy he can hardly stand up:

Look at that tongue!


We wrapped our Memorial day with some all-American grilling:





And, in a blink, the weekend was gone and I was getting up to be a commuter. What did you do this weekend?

Check back tomorrow for the recipe for one of my favorite summer appetizers!


Post Script: Nature is after me, again:



At least my poppies are beautiful...

Friday, May 20, 2011

What We're Doing. And Eating.

Normally I'd be waxing poetic at this point on how much I love Fridays. However, with Hugh's (insane, for the record) study schedule, I am really just counting down to Saturday evening. Also known as the beginning of Down Day. Also known as the twenty-four hours where I do nothing but hang out with Hugh.

I'm just going to go ahead and say, this hasn't been a great week for White Hot eating. Some weeks, I feel like I have it all together: the house is clean, everyone is healthy and well-behaved, all the meals are delicious and home-cooked and good for you. And other weeks, it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

This week, all I can say is that my house is really clean. Fletcher is sick, we've eaten out almost every night this week, I woke up with a sore throat today, and I am averaging about an hour and a half of Hugh-time per day right now.

However, I can tell you this - I am willing myself to feel better by 6pm this evening, because I've got company coming to town! I'll be back on Monday with a recap of our sure-to-be-an-adventure weekend.

In the meantime, here's the week in photos, and commentary of course.

My go-to busy-day lunch:

Toasted whole wheat bagel, topped with a half an avocado mashed up with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.


One of my favorite benefits of working for home is the dress code:

Just keeping it real, internets. Don't be jeal.


Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning (also known as happy, happy, happy):



What's that, you ask? Oh, no big deal. Just GREW SOME TOMATOES:



Can you please tell me if there is something more gorgeous than a peony? I mean, really:



Poor birthday boy's regimen for the week:

That would be treatment for a double ear infection, a flare-up of his IBD, and seasonal allergies. You know what's really fun? Applying an earwash and ear medication to dog with an ear infection who was bred to have a strong neck. It's like wrestling an alligator. At seven o'clock in the morning.


Good. thing. he's. cute:



And, don't let that face fool you, he's acting just fine:

New birthday toy from his favorite cousin.


And, last but certainly not least, my good child:

As payment for being cute and (mostly) hassle-free, Henry Parker takes most of his naps on clean laundry, fresh from the dryer.


Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. See you Monday, friends!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Winner, Winner, White Hot Dinner!

First, thanks so much for your kind comments on my little birthday post. I'm totally motivated to be a super blogger for my lovely readers.

And now, the big winner:


Lisa said...

Happy one year!! I love your recipes, photos of the garden and your pets, cleaning tips (I have a mild case of OCD...) and just overall love your blog! :)


Thanks, Lisa, for your sweet comment and for reading along! Contact me at whitehotinspiration at gmail dot com with your shipping info.

Not going to lie, I was kind of happy when our lovely winner was the commenter who loved my cleaning tips. A girl after my own heart.

To everyone else, thanks again for commenting. Stay tuned for more White Hot giveaways...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cassie's Fancy Pants Gin Cocktail

Turning over the blog to Hugh today. Be nice...

So, my sweet wife decided that my inaugural post should be about her favorite cocktail treat. I used to be a bartender, so I'm typically the drink-maker around this place.

Cassie's beverage tastes have followed an odd route from apple martinis in college (this always makes me laugh, because you couldn't pay her to drink one of these now), to margaritas in our early days as an item, to her heyday of champagne and white wine.

Within the last year or two, she decided to be bold and to try something new: the old fashioned gin cocktail (preceded by her French 75 phase). I think that this came on the tail of our first visit to our favorite restaurant on the planet, Holeman & Finch, in Atlanta. While this drink doesn't take the bartending skill found at H & F, it is delicious and dangerous and perfectly refreshing (says the wife).

So to make it, I think it is best to first make some simple syrup. To do this find a sealable container, and add equal parts warm water and sugar. Put the lid on tightly and shake the hell out of it until all of the sugar is disolved. This is a little work, but the tasty drink will be your reward. The other good thing about the simple syrup, it will last in the refrigerator for a long time and it is a quick way to add sweetness to just about anything.

Now for the good part:

Start by rinsing a lemon and using a vegetable peeler to take off one longitudinal strip. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bottom of a small glass. As you probably know, citrus should be refrigerated to extend its shelf-life. However, this doesn't make for the juiciest lemons. So, when you remove your lemon from the fridge, roll it with some pressure under the heel of your hand on the counter to get the juices flowin'.

Next add an ounce and a half of gin. This is about three tablespoons. Or one-and-a-half shots.

Now add about two to three dashes of Angostura, or old-fashioned, bitters. This can be found at the grocery store or at any liquor store for a couple of dollars. It is an important component that adds a ton of taste (and a little color as well).

Finally splash in about one to one and a half tablespoons of simple syrup (depending on your personal taste). Cassie tends to enjoy the drink a tad more sweet; I opt for a little less sweetness.

Now add some ice and watch the drink rise to the top of the glass. Next, shake it vigorously for a few seconds to break up some of the ice and meld the flavors. Pour contents of shaker into your glass of choice. Then, twist that strip of lemon over the top of the drink and rub it around the rim of the glass. This seems unnecessary, but it actually releases a little oil and gives the drink a nice lemony smell while you drink. And, as my wifely editor says, it looks pretty:



Cassie's Gin Cocktail
A White Hot Husband Original
serves 1

1 lemon, washed
1 1/2 ounces Gin
2 - 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup
Ice to fill glass

Remove a strip of lemon rind with a vegetable peeler. This will be your twist.

Next, juice lemon into serving glass. Remove any seeds. Add gin, bitters, and enough simple syrup to make it as sweet as you like. Add ice to fill glass. Invert serving glass into larger cup (a quick cocktail shaker). Shake vigorously for a few seconds.

Pour drink into serving glass. Squeeze your lemon twist over the drink, run it along the edge of the glass, and drop it in. And, then it's, as I like to say to Cas, "Bottom's up, tea cup." (Cas then responds, "Chug-a-lug, milk jug.")

That's it. Couldn't be easier. The drink that is, not blogging. Thanks for reading along today. Enjoy, and hopefully, I will be back soon to post about a drink that some of Cassie's gentleman readers will enjoy. Or to post about knife-fighting, MCubed.

Post Script: I know the reason Cassie wants me to guest post: it's one less post that she has to come up with this week. I am on to her blog-slacking ways.

Post Post Script: Cassie here to add: you know Hugh wrote this post because "one longitudinal strip?" Really? That's got Hugh written all over it. Love him.

Also, just for explanation - Hugh is always talking about starting a blog with our friend Matt and stealing all of our White Hot and MCubed readers. The subject of said blog? Why, knife-fighting, of course. I tried to explain that that is not really my target demographic...

Now, let's leave Hugh lots of sweet comments so he'll post again soon!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two.

My darling Fletcher boy turns two today. He's shocked that this year has gone by so quickly:

"Shut your mouth right now. Two?! Are you serious? But I'm still a baby. Just ask my Mom."


For fun, a video of the second day we had Fletcher that makes me cry because he's so teeny tiny. Please do not blame me for any puppies you may purchase as a product of this cuteness:


video

I know, right?

Normally, I feel like I would be saying, "Oh but he just turned one yesterday, where did the time go?" Instead, I find myself thinking it's been about six years since we were doing this:

First birthday celebration.


Partially because he's so big now, and partially because I cannot believe we ever didn't have Fletcher, but mainly because this has been a hell of a year to be his dog Momma.

First there was the middle of the night trip to the emergency vet, where he stayed for three days. And then there was emergency dental surgery in August. And then December rolled around and Fletcher got really sick; those were some trying weeks to say the least.

But, lucky for all of us, that pup of ours is a trooper. A really, ridiculously cute, ridiculously expensive little trooper who is doing just fine now. Honestly, it's no secret how much we love him, traumatic health crisis and all. He's just a little light in our life all the time:





Happy birthday to my happy Fletcher. I hope year three you feel like this every single day:


Monday, May 16, 2011

The Weekend In Photos (and Also, Words).

First thing first: see post below to enter the inaugural White Hot Giveaway.

Now, let's talk about the weekend. It was a good one. I'll just go ahead and say it: the weather was amazing. Hugh was busy studying away Friday and Saturday, but lucky for me, Sunday is Down Day. Henceforth known as the Best Day Ever. I had some major appreciation for Hugh's company stored up by the time Sunday morning rolled around.

Here's a quick recap:

Friday was a lunch date with my lovely friend, cleaning the house, buying beautiful peonies as a house-cleaning prize, and BBQ Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas for dinner, with nary a photo in sight.

Saturday was a visit to the grocery and to Target, followed by watching the clock and waiting to hear a certain someone's key in the door signaling the start of the Real Weekend. And then, some of us kicked up our feet:



While others made pizza and salad (with basil and lettuce from the garden oasis!):



And then there was Sunday; you know, the Best Day Ever. This is what it looked like:

Blueberry Muffin Breakfast.


Handsome husband whose side I was pretty much glued to all day long.


Planting of my peas and cucumber and a trip to Home Depot for some trellis materials. Project Garden: completed. Finally.


It's true love, people.


And this - henceforth known as the Best Photo Ever:

A little Fletcher and Daddy yoga in the yard. I cannot even handle this photo. If you want to steal it and make it your wallpaper so you can laugh all day long, I understand.


And finally there was the grilling of dinner. The dinner was hotdogs. We had a little Iron Chef: Hotdog at Fresh Market. We ended up with a BLT dog and a Grilled Pineapple Salsa and Slaw Dog. Sounds great to us.

But, here's the thing, Fresh Market only had nitrate-free hotdogs. There was not a Hebrew National hotdog (which is, for the record, the only kind of hotdog you should be grilling) in sight. So we gave their organic hotdogs a try, mainly because we were too lazy to drive across the street to Publix.

Let's just say, apparently nitrates are what make hotdogs so delicious. At least the toppings were good...

Fletcher also did not want to let Hugh out of his sight all day.


Delicious hotdog masterpieces. You know, except for the fact that the hotdogs themselves were not very good.


And, just like that, it was Monday morning and Hugh was up at 5:00am again. Sigh.

But, it's not all bad. I actually have some lovely posts already lined up for you this week. Including...Hugh's First Ever Guest Post! Stay tuned. And get excited.


Post Script: Oh, and since there are no accompanying photos of Henry Parker, let me assure you he's doing just fine and is as spoiled as ever. This weekend he dined on (in addition to his pricey prescription food, of course): milk from my cereal, Blueberry Muffin crumbs, 1/4 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and sour cream from the quesadilla plates. What? You don't let your cat clean your plate like a dog? Weird.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Someone's Turning One!

UPDATE: Due to the fact that blogger has been down, the Giveaway deadline has been extended to 5pm on Wednesday, May 18th. Winner will be announced Thursday morning. Happy commenting!

And it's this little blog!

365 days. 136 posts. Let's just go ahead and acknowledge that is not a very consistent or frequent posting schedule. I appreciate you reading along anyway.

However, nothing like turning another year older to reflect on what you want to do better, which means I have a whole slew of ideas brewing for the next year. One of which is posting more than once a week. So hold on to your whisks, readers.

Now, if this blog were a person, I'd be blowing up balloons and baking a cake and wrapping presents as we speak, because you know how I feel about birthdays. But, this blog is just a little map dot on the internet, which means it has no use for my baking and wrapping and balloons.

So, how about I give you a present instead? A thank you gift, if you will.

I think that sounds like a great idea!

Leave me a little comment about this little White Hot blog. Something you love. Or something you'd like to see more of in the next year. Or less of, even. But I'm just warning you, if you say something mean I'm not going to pick you...

Do that by 5:00pm on Sunday (May 15th) and Monday morning I'll announce a winner of this cookbook:



How to Cook Everything a constant go-to in our kitchen - a great reference, no matter your skill level. I think you will love all one thousand forty-four of its pages as much as we do. Your copy, however, will not include corners chewed by a mouthy three-month-old Boxer puppy whose father was not watching him during nap time.

Thanks so much for reading along this year, sweet friends. Cheers to the posts ahead!

And, seriously, aren't birthday's just the best?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend. And Mom.

Lots going on here at the White Hot house. I was away for the weekend visiting one of my most favorite people, ever. And yesterday afternoon I came home to a clean house (that Hugh, I swear...), three boys who were very happy to see me, and an afternoon of playing in the yard intermingled with a little margarita drinking. And today I woke up to lots of work and laundry to catch up on.

In other news, today marked the first day of Hugh's study prep for the first step of his Board exam, which he'll take at the end of June. This is one of the most important, and difficult, steps in the med school process. It means six days a week, ten to twelve hours a day of nonstop studying for the next seven weeks.

I could say I'm pouty that he'll be so busy, but I'm mostly just proud he works so hard for our little family. From the outside looking in, you just cannot grasp what goes into these four years. I feel very privileged to be the person who gets to be by his side on this med school journey. Lucky, lucky me.

Speaking of lucky, I missed Mother's day on this little blog yesterday, but I want to acknowledge the loveliness that is my Mom. Even though I'm a day late, I don't think she'll mind. After all, she expects, if not understands, my procrastination after twenty-seven years.



To be her daughter is to have felt unconditionally loved every single day of my life. She is wise and nuturing and supportive and very funny. She is completely invested in this little life that Hugh and I are building together - she is our number one fan.

My mom was a single parent when I was growing up. This meant she had to do all the hard parts of parenting; there simply wasn't anyone else to step in for relief. But, it also meant she got to do all the fun parts of parenting. And it means that, when I look back on my childhood for lessons learned, they come from her. Here are a few favorites:

It was my mom who taught me how to ride a bike. She got to be the one letting go of the seat, running behind me, yelling, go go go! A metaphor for motherhood if there ever was one.

It was my mom who taught me that all you really have is your word, so you always tell the truth and do what you say you will, even when it's hard.

It was my mom who taught me to flour a cake pan and make the perfect cornbread. My earliest cooking memories are, of course, with her. She's the reason I feel so at home in the kitchen today.

It was my mom who taught me that things always seem better in the morning and nothing clears your head like a hot shower.

It was my mom who taught me how to dive off the side off the pool and do an underwater handstand. In life, I think there are two kinds of moms - the kind who sits on the edge of the pool and watches her kids, and the kind who jumps right in with them and gets her hair wet. I'm grateful mine was the latter.

It was my mom who taught me that whatever you are doing, you do the best you can. So even if you fail, you can always know you gave it everything you had.

It was my mom who taught me that there is no reason too small for a celebration - every single birthday, cute haircuts, promotions, first days, last days - my life is filled with memories of balloons and happy dinners and sweet notes.

It was my mom who taught me that life doesn't always go the way you planned, but not to worry, that everything works out just fine in the end. We're still working on this skill...it's apparently one of those life lessons I haven't quite mastered.

So, a belated happy Mother's day to the mother who is so irreplaceable that I imagine no matter how old I get, I will always need her for something.

You made it look easy, Momma, and I can only hope, one day, my own children will feel half as lucky to have me as I do to have you. I am so glad I am your daughter.

xoxo

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Well, I'll Drink to That.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, internets. Or, as Hugh likes to say, happy Cinco de Drinko*.

In honor of this lovely day, one that is celebrated by consumption of two of my favorite things - tequila and Mexican food, I'd like to give you my margarita recipe.

A warning, these are neither some overly sour mixed juice drink, nor are they frou frou concoctions with pomegranate juice and rainbow umbrellas. These are real margaritas. They taste like tequila and lime with a hint of orange. They are delicious and refreshing and deceptively strong.

The White Hot and MCubed families have gotten drunk off our asses a little bit tipsy on these margaritas more times than is probably prudent to admit on the internet. So, I'll just say drink this deliciousness responsibly.



Margaritas on the Rocks with Salt
makes 6 drinks

1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice (5 - 6 limes)
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 cup Triple Sec
2 cups ice (this is just enough ice to make them really cold; this does not make a frozen margarita)
1 cup white tequila (inexpensive will do just fine)
Lime wedges
Kosher salt

Combine lime juice, lemon juice, Triple Sec, and ice in the blender. Blend until completely combined and no ice chunks remain.

Add tequila, blend five seconds to combine.

Rim your glass with lime and salt. Fill glasses with ice. Pour margaritas.

Sit back and thank God for the fifth of May. And be prepared to get up and make another batch.

Cheers, dears!


*I kid, I kid. This is the opposite of something Hugh would say. When I told him that's what we used to call it in college, he shamed me for like five days. Whatever, Hugh. Sorry you cannot appreciate the beauty of a bunch of sorority girls hopped up on cheap tequila running around bidding everyone a happy Cinco de Drinko.