Friday, May 18, 2018

flashback friday

Happy Flashback Friday! In honor of our road trip back west we're having a Flashback Friday, today. This is the trip that started the idea for our blog.  It seemed only appropriate to title our first travel blog post West Texas Here we Come.  

First Stop Bu-cee's because Road Trip Snacks or in Eric's Case Beaver T-shirts!
Up next was How Many Miles to Alpine? If you're curious the answer is a lot!  Just kidding but be sure you alway have plenty gas. Maybe now Eric can finally laugh about the time we only had 7 miles left on the tank!?  

Cross the Highway from Prada Marfa

Prada Marfa Art Installation 
Then the reason for the trip Big Bend or Bust! Still 5 months later we're still talking about the scenery we took in at Big Bend and our road trip to anyone who will listen. If you've never been you should go! It has made us want to visit more National Parks. If you're in need of summer ideas check out the National Parks website they have tons of information. 

We made it to the park! 
St Elena Canyon to the Left is Mexico.  Oh and there's Eric!
The Moon, Chisos Mountains, and the Chihuanhuan Desert 
And today, like our last west Texas road trip post, we are On the Road Again! Only this time we're headed to Houston! And I have no doubt this trip will also have another Bu-cee's stop before we head home.  

Desert Sunrise in West Texas from our AirBnB
Eric and his Road Trip Love!  Bu-cee the Beaver.  I'm the Third Wheel!

Friday, May 11, 2018

spicy pimento cheese heaven

Happy Eric Sandwich Bliss!

Things about Eric that you may not know. He loves pimento cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. It is totally the fault of French Truck Coffee. Their BLT & Pimento sandwich became a biweekly ritual until I put my foot down. Unlike Eric, I cannot eat the same thing over and over again. After a month or so break from these frequent French Truck visits, Eric decided we should try to recreate this sandwich at home. 

Cast of Characters

The Rest of the Crew

Pinterest to the rescue!  After a quick browse on Pinterest we decided this recipe looked like the go-to...loosely. We didn't want anything sweet. I personally cannot stand the sweet tasting pimento cheese my grandmother made or the kind that is frequently found at grocery stores in the South. Sorry Maw Maw Dot, you were a great cook. I just don't like sweet pimento cheese!  

Grated Cheese Goodness

Without further ado, I present to you Adventures with Eric Pimento Cheese with Bacon & Jalapeño. Please note this makes 3 cups! So you can feed a village this goodness.

Pimento Cheese with Bacon & Jalapeño

  • 1/3 cup of diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/3 cup of diced jalapeño (or more if you like it extra spicy)
  • 1/2 cup of Hellmann's or Duke's Mayonnaise (one of us is a mayo snob)
  • 8 oz of cream cheese
  • .5 lb Cabot Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (the best cheddar cheese ever: fact)
  • .5 lb smoked Gouda 
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you like it extra spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • At medium speed, beat mayo, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of the reserved pepper juice, black pepper, red pepper, and salt until well combined and all cream cheese is blended into the mixture.
  • Add the roasted red pepper and jalapeño pepper, Cabot and gouda cheese, and continue mixing until combined. 

KitchenAid Mixing it up in the Kitchen

If you'd like to make these into BLT & P's then be sure to use crispy bacon, find a bread you like, and build your sandwich like you would a grilled cheese sandwich. It should be noted, we really love arugula with this sandwich. That's how the French Truck has it on their menu. Sometimes they cheat and use a spring mix, but arugula is where it's at. You can find bagged arugula at my go to for grocery goodness, Trader Joe's. We used a make-shift panini press by using a skillet on top of the sandwich. Clearly we ain't fancy. We just wanted a quick way to satisfy Eric's addiction for the BLT & P!  

Building the BLT & P Layers
Ready to become Melted
Makeshift Panini Press (heat resistant fingertips optional).
Finished Product with a Scoop of Pimento Cheese for the Chips

Please let us know if you make this sandwich at home. If you have any other fun uses or recipes for pimento cheese...holla! We'd love to hear them. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

new orleans rainy day fun

St. Roch Market

Mother Nature always has her way. A sunny day in New Orleans were our plans. Mother Nature had other plans for us. We decided to make the best of our plans regardless of the weather. Our first stop was St. Roch Market. It's a food hall concept that seems to be spreading pretty quickly through the US. St. Roch Market is always hustling and bustling, but we always manage to find something new and different to try. It also should be noted we've never had a bad meal here. There are a variety vendors and neither one of us has tried the same thing twice. On this trip however it seemed we were both on the same page. Two orders of Trash Grits! It came with a poached egg, I'm not a fan, so Eric got to enjoy two. The Trash Grits were delicious we were both pleased!  

Trash Grits. Soooo good.

We next took a short drive over to the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). Since the rain had yet to begin we decided to walk around the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. The garden is open seven days a week and admission is free. The beautiful garden also contains over sixty pieces of art. You can spend a lot of time here walking around the 5 acres enjoying nature and the art within the garden.

Just as beautiful on a cloudy day.
LOVE, Red Blue by Robert Indiana

After a few sprinkles, it was time to head inside NOMA. The current exhibit A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes is a current exhibit that goes through the end of May. The experimental gowns and head pieces really showcased the artists' and designers' talents. The cost was an extra $5 to the museum's usual entry fee, but it was money well spent. 

Show Stopper 
Peak a Boo... that Gold Dress Though!
as often as possible, be gentle and kind. -Ashish  

Carlos Rolóns' Outside/In is another exhibit that will be at NOMA through August 26th. Posted signs, within the exhibit, encouraged photos of the works be shared on social media with the hashtag #nomaoutsidein. Rolón's works captured many mediums. My personal favorites were his tropical flower and gold leaf paintings. They were so vibrant. They provided sunshine on the rainy day. I also really loved his works with mirrors and tile. 

Eric with Gild the Lily (Decadence Upon Decadence I)

Loved this Mirror!  I wonder how many years of bad luck Carlos has?  

After NOMA we headed to Hansen's Sno-Bliz. Eric isn't a snoball fan, so he doesn't know what he is missing out on! However, it should be said he is always very patient. He stands in line with me and keeps me company. And if you've been to Hansen's then you know that it can be quite a wait. It was forty-five minutes for us that day. That said, Hansen's is the best! Proof: they won a James Beard Award in 2014. Plus, they have daily fresh original flavors. The Banana's Foster daily special seemed to be everyone's choice that day. Although I'm not a fan of bananas I was tempted to try it based on smell alone!

Syrup for Days
Cream of Coconut with Pineapple and Marshmallow

Next up, The Shrine on Airline. We had tickets for the opening weekend of Baby Cakes baseball! It's New Orleans' minor league baseball team (the AAA-affiliate of the Miami Marlins). Once we parked it started pouring. We ate and waited...and waited...and waited. An hour into the rain delay, and no end in site, we decided the Cakes could play without us. They eventually did, but we would be sound asleep before the game ever ended. 

Fair Weather Baby Cakes Fans. Eric is wearing his new Cakes hat! 

The weather finally cleared about half-way back to Baton Rouge. However, we'll be back on (hopefully) a sunny day to catch the Baby Cakes. Even on a rainy day, there is so much to see and do in New Orleans. Please be sure to hit up NOMA and St. Roch! Also, a friend recently mentioned Auction House Market. After looking at their Instagram account, we're sold. Empanola we're coming for you! Those empanadas need to happen sooner rather than later! Speaking of Instagram, if you don't already follow us on Instagram follow along with us here.   


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

food truck love

Show of hands. Who has ever driven past a food truck on the side of the road and stopped? Eric and I have been driving by a particular food truck for more than a year and I frequently say, "...can we eat there someday?" Recently, that someday happened. I probably need to thank David Chang's Ugly Delicious "Tacos" episode for Eric's willingness to finally agree to go to Taqueria Sanchez El Sabrosito. We aren't food truck pros, so we stopped by an ATM for some cash. Have cash on hand. We learned Taqueria Sanchez only accepts dollar, dollar, bills ya'll so we were covered! 

Taqueria Sanchez (Photo Menu for Gringos!)

We picked a sunny, crisp, evening to try Taqueria Sanchez on Florida Boulevard in Baton Rouge, LA. If you know where Brian Harris Chevrolet is located then you should be able to spot Taqueria Sanchez. It's about a mile from the dealership. The flashy bright lights, from the the parking lot where it is usually parked, pretty much makes it a can't miss.   

Tacos al Pastor (ie. Pork Tacos)

A little apprehensive we began to read the menu. David Chang made this look easy! We both took Spanish, but this wasn't a Taco Bell menu (¿donde esta la biblioteca?). This was a Salvadorian Taqueria food truck. Real deal here people. The giant picture menu on the side of the truck made ordering a bit easier. We ordered a few tacos, a cheese quesadilla (literally the best cheese quesadilla  ever) and pupusas stuffed with cheese and beans. The curtido it was served with was delish and added to the flavor. 

¡La horchata es muy grande!

The food truck also offered a large selection of Mexican sodas and two agua frescas: Horchata and Tamarindo. We went Horchata. It's a deliciously sweet drink made of rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. It’s like drinking a flavorful watered down vanilla milkshake. Eric thinks it's a light Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk. He's a real gastronomic aficionado. Tamarindo is supposedly a tart but sweet drink. We didn't have it, so...sure. Maybe next visit. 

My photo doesn't do this justice. This is the best Cheese Quesadilla I've ever had!

If you're ever driving by Taqueria Sanchez then please stop (or any food truck for that matter)! Step outside your comfort zone. You just might discover the best *something* you've ever had!      

Monday, April 23, 2018

take us out to the ballgame

Take us out to the be photo-bombed.

Although it always inspires debate, especially amongst football fans, it is said that baseball is America's game. As a girl my uncle would occasionally take my little brother and me to the LSU baseball games on Friday nights. I wouldn't say I ever really enjoyed the game. However, I enjoyed the snacks, the t-shirts, souvenirs and the people watching. I don't believe I ever really got into the game of baseball until 2004. It was then that my gut told me that the Red Sox were going to win the World Series and the Curse of the Bambino would be broken. The 2004 American League Championship made me a Red Sox fan and a baseball fan for life.

I was living in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania at the time. I was an assistant aquatic director. Basically that means you work a lot of hours and you wear many hats. One of the hats I wore was swim coach. I had no idea swim team parents could be like those crazy soccer parents until I moved to Pennsylvania. The stories I could tell. I coached with three male coaches and one other female coach. Two of the guys were pretty hardcore into baseball. We had a die hard Phillies fan, an Orioles fan, and (I save the best for last) a die hard Cubs fan. I fell into baseball, essentially, so the pool desk conversations consisted of something other than swimming.

Eric,on the other hand, grew up loving baseball. He played every summer as a kid, collected the cards and afternoon Cubs games (before there were lights at Wrigley Field) were always on after school. 

Cool Cats

This is all a backdrop to our recent trip out Alex Box Stadium to watch the LSU Tigers take on the Nicholls State Colonals. To say it was perfect conditions for baseball would be a less than accurate statement. Rain was on the way, but we would not be deterred. Also, our seats were under the grandstand. We weren't exactly going to actually get wet. 

Cloudy conditions loom over Championship Plaza.

The weather was clear when we first arrived. People congregated outside the stadium snapping photos with the Mike the Tiger statue and taking in LSU baseball history at Championship Plaza.

The Swamp Sausage Dog

Once inside, we hit up the concession stand. We usually don't eat before or after a game. We enjoy eating at the ballpark. It's part of the experience for us. I got the Swamp Sausage Dog. Basically a sausage link on a bun that's covered in red peppers grilled onions. I added jalapeno peppers, because hot makes everything better. Eric stuck with a plain sausage poboy. Booorrriiinnnggg!

First pitch!

As the game played on, the weather rolled in. Specifically in the fifth inning. The rain hit hard and the tarp was rolled out. The rain cleared out after about a 45 minute delay and the Tigers were back on the field and in control. Some of the crowd cleared out, so those who were caught in the rain moved under the grandstand and were obvious. They were the wet ones. The new crowd included the Nicholls State softball team. They played Southern University earlier in the day and were grouped together routing on their Colonel brothers. It was cool to see students routing for their long as LSU won. Then a weather alert came on my phone. Another band of rain was on its way. We love LSU baseball, but...we still had work in the morning. Did we really want to be here all night? Answer: we cut out in the seventh inning. We all won that night. LSU secured a 10-1 victory and we made it home dry. comes the tarp.

It is becoming a popular opinion that baseball's position as America's game is over. Football is taking its place. I will admit that watching a baseball game on television doesn't seem as exciting as watching football on television. Even though they both essentially last about three hours on average. Baseball has its challenges with capturing the attention of young fans. It's our opinion that baseball is best experienced at the ballpark. Get out to a ballpark soon. You'll have a great time!