cook it: blackening spice rub and catfish

When Josh and I ate at Tupelo Honey for his Father's Day brunch, we picked up a copy of their cook book. We've been slowly working our way through a few recipes. Last week I put together their Blackening Spice, but I couldn't figure out what to try it on. I'm still rocking the whole vegan thing, so I didn't really know what kind of meat to blacken for Josh. Tupelo Honey recommends catfish. Sounded totally gross to me, but Josh was up for the adventure!

Here's the recipe for the rub:

Blackening Spice
1 tbls sugar
1 tbls seat salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbls smoked paprika
1 tsp powdered onion
1 tsp powdered garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano

step 1) mix it all together
step 2) blacken something!

We (and by we, I actually mean Josh) dredged the catfish in the blackening spices. We (still just Josh) then placed the seasoned fish in a pan of lightly simmering oil. We (yep, just Josh) then fried each side for 3 minutes. Tupelo Honey suggests topping the spiced catfish with their Sunshot Salsa. Check it out:

I was having a veggie plate for dinner, so I plated up Josh's catfish with sides. He said the meal was delish. A perfect Sunday Southern meal!

tupelo honey blackened catfish with sunshot salsa
garden fresh green beans and sea-salt
garden fresh squash with olive oil, salt and pper
farmer's market silver queen corn (with butter!)
southern biscuit


cook it: doo-doo drops

Ok, these cookies are actually called 'Fudge Ecstasies'. I thought using the word 'ecstasies' might be a wee-bit racy for the 'ole blog, so I asked Josh what he'd refer to these cookies as. He said "I'd call them 'doo doo drops' so that no one would want them and then I wouldn't have to share any!" So here you have it; some amazing rich chocolate cookies:

12 oz semisweet chocolate chip pieces
2 oz unsweet chocolate
1tbl butter
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped cashews, pecans or almonds* (nuts are optional, so we skipped 'em!)

1) melt half of the semi-sweet chocolate, all the butter and all the un-sweet chocolate in a saucepan

2) in another small bowl mix eggs, sugar, flour and baking soda. then add to melty chocolate mix

3) pour in remaining semi-sweet chocolate (and nuts, if you like!) then drop by rounded teaspoon onto greased cookie tray

optional step 4) top with something crazy if you're daring! i used a little sea salt on a few!

bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. cool on wire rack.

now pour yourself a big glass of milk (or coffee!) and enjoy a cookie (or a dozen!)


elliot weekly: week 16

16 weeks? already?!

Playdates with Friends: We went over to our friends' house for dinner and took the babe with us. Lauren and Matt are our dear friends in Shelby and they're the parents of Elliot's bff Merrin. We had the most amazing meal and got some serious play time in (both parents and kiddos!) We even got to try and weigh Elliot on their vintage baby scale. She was wiggling around a ton---we're guessing 12.5 pounds, but who knows!

attempting to weight the babe

gotta love those matching outfits ;)

Snug as a Bug: Elliot has been sleeping much better this week! Thanks for all your prayers!! She's been sleeping from about 8pm-6:15am (still giving her a dream feed at 10:30pm.) Its made for happier parents and turns out that Elliot's even napping better. Here's the evidence from a nap at work:

Grabbing Feet: Elliot is getting better and better and grabbing her toes. Check her out:

Excited about Bouncing: Elliot has been loving her bouncy seat at work! Check her out:

and of course i had to leave you with a picture of the babe:


cook it: Nancy's Salsa

didn't know what to do with our latest batch of garden goodness
until i remember nancy's salsa!

Nancy was a chef out at Young Life's Crooked Creek Ranch. She made the best salsa ever. I ate gobs and gobs of it while Josh was working out there. I managed to pry the recipe out of her. Then I had to whittle it down to a manageable size (she was making salsa for 500 a week---me, not so much!)

Be prepared to be addicted folks!

Nancy's Salsa

12 roma tomatoes
2 jalapenos
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch of green onion

1 T salt
1 T pepper
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz soy sauce
2 T sugar
1/2 oz distilled white vinegar

1) chop and mix tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro and green onion. you can also you a food processor if you'd like
2) add in all other ingredients

Now, is that a simple recipe or what?! We use this salsa with whatever kind of tomatoes we can get our hands on. Roma tomatoes seem to make the least "water-y" salsa, but free is always best in my book and so we'll use whatever is growing in our garden (currently better boy and grape tomatoes.)

This salsa is great served with chips, quesadillas, nachos and over grilled chicken (I had it back when I was a meat eater---grilled chicken topped with mexican blend cheese and salsa---remember it being totally delish.)

So mix up a batch of margaritas, or sangria or just some good 'ole lemonade. You'll need something to quench your thirst when you're chowing down on this salsa!


you did that how?

On Sunday afternoon I broke my toe; my cute little left pinky toe to be exact. Its puffy and purple and not at all pretty.

while i may look in desperate need of a pedicure, this is actually pretty dang good for runner's feet!

What is more sad than a broken pinky toe? Admitting to your husband that you broke it walking down these:

Yep, that totally terrifying height is the two steps from our garage to our house. I was trying to walk down the stairs while putting on my tennis shoes. I'm not sure why I was trying to multi-task or why I was in such a rush. I was going to work in the yard and was going to put my "yard shoes" (old running shoes that I keep in the garage because they're usually so dirty) on while standing up. I was going to slide the shoe on while stepping down a step and slide the shoe the rest of the way up one I stepped down to the garage floor. This sounds so much more smooth in my head than it is coming out in blog form.

Long awkward story later, my left pink toe in broken. But don't worry, I didn't let it get in the way of Zumba last night at the gym. When a girl has got to dance, a girl has got to dance!


Elliot Weekly: Week 15

looking oh so serious this morning!

What we've been up to this week:

All Nighters: Yep, Elliot has been quite the little night owl this week. She's become an absolute champ at going to bed...its the staying asleep part that has us a little overwhelmed. Elliot is now going to bed around 8pm and sleeping soundly. I sneak in her room around 10:30pm for a late night feeding by bottle, with the hopes of waking her less. As I lay her down and I pray that she'll sleep through the night. Since last Friday night she's been waking up around 2-3am. We can get her back to sleep pretty quickly and easily, but she'll inevitably be back up in 45-60 minutes. The pattern continues until 7am when we "start" our day. I will say this: Josh wins the Husband Of The Year award for taking care of Elliot during those wee hours of the morning. I did it Friday night and Saturday night and had a little bit of a meltdown Sunday afternoon about it! Josh took over this week and it has been a blessed relief for this tired mama!

Bath Time: Elliot is loving her bath time! This week we switched to using the bathtub for her baths (instead of the sink.) We have a little green frog sponge-thing that we can lay or sit her on while she gets he bath. She'll smile, coo and talk while she has her bath. She gets a bath right before dinner each night. The 5-7pm hours used to be the "witching hours" around our house. I've found that baths are the perfect distraction for her. She can be so fussy and as soon as she gets in the tub she just lights up :) Its so much less scary to hold a squirmy wet baby at this age; I remember when she was two and three weeks old and I felt like I'd drop her!

Yoga Baby: Remember back when I said that our baby girl was a little yoga baby? Well, its true! Elliot has been grabbing at her toes. She's even managed to grab both feet at the same time. I was able to grab a quick picture of her with my cell phone. Sorry for the poor quality--and I couldn't figure out how to rotate the picture once is was on my mac :) Oh the joys of pc to mac conversion!

Since I'm still not working Fridays, the work week is done for me. I'm so excited to soak up some girl time with Elliot today! I really treasure our Friday time together--just me and my girl. The weekends are a great time for us to be a fun family of three and I do love those times. But there's something special and this time alone with my babe!


Save The Date--October 1st

get your calendar out.
get your pen ready.
are you ready?

ready for what??
to kick cancer's ass.
yep, i just said ass on my blog
(oops, just said it twice!)

This past year cancer got personal. In June of 2010 my friend Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer. She found a lump while breast feeding her four month old daughter. This past year has been filled with diagnosis, scans, genetic testing, chemotherapy, radiation, and a double masectomy. But Amy's story doesn't end there, most recently she had a "bad scan" (my words, not hers) at her oncologist's office. It might be back. Amy was literally days away from reconstructive surgery when she got the news. She had a biopsy on Tuesday and they're currently waiting for the results.

And if that wasn't enough for one woman...she recently lost her job. Amy has a tremendous support system and speaks often of her friends, church family and faith in the Lord. I cannot fathom how she does it.

Hold on tight, I'm about to get on a soapbox folks!

So, what are you doing right now? Reading blogs? Drinking some coffee? At work? Up and about being cancer free?? Well, now is your chance to get out your wallets and lace up your shoes to throw a little support Amy's way.

Elliot and I are running the Charlotte Susan G Komen 5k on October 1st. This is our second year to run with Amy's team (Team Patwa.) Last year was the most humbling experience for me, I think I cried the entire run. There were thousands of people running; survivors, supports, men with pink tutus on, babies in strollers, oh geez I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

This is where YOU come in. Give me some money. Better yet, run with me and race your own money. I'm serious. Get off your lazy butt and get out your wallet. Its time to part with some of your most cherished assests (time and money) and give it to such a worthy cause.

Here's how much you should donate:
$25: helps provide transportation for women to get to treatments and appointments
$50: educate 300 women about early detection and breast self awareness materials
$75: provide for a woman to get an annual breast exam
$100: provide for a woman to get a mammogram

And how should you donate??? Click here, its my personal fundraising page for Amy's team. I'm only trying to raise $150, but I'm going to try and do it soley through blog love. That's right readers----make a little tax-deductable donation to Team Patwa---I'll give you a shout out on my blog about your awesomeness!

You can read about Amy's diagnosis on her personal blog here, her most recent scan here and check our her caringbridge site here.


the littlest fan

May I take a moment to introduce you to the littlest fan of the Tour de France:

she looks like she has ricky bobby hands here, hahaha

My friend Kay showed me several cool sites for buying TDF onesies. I'm not sure if its because I'm so dang cheap or because Elliot is growing so fast (or combination of the two) but I just wasn't willing to part with the cash even though they were so dang cute! Check them out here and here.

Plus, I wanted her to be able to wear the onesie now, while the Tour is actually going on. So, I dug through my crafting trunk and this is what I came up with! I found a hand-me-down plain onesie in Elliot's drawer. I used some of my iron-on backing and scrap fabrics (as close to Garmin-Cervelo as I could--she's a big fan of Tyler and Thor) and voila! A free and immediately usable onesie. Hooray for instant, and cheap, gratification!

Here's a close up:


putting baby to work

A couple of folks have asked what Elliot does while she's with me at work. Well, she does what every three month old does: listens to NPR, talks with her friends on her cell phone, browses her favorite blogs, plays on pinterest, wastes vast amounts of time on etsy...you know, the typical stuff.

When she's not napping, Elliot loves playing here:

We're borrowing this seat from Elliot's friend Austin. He's 1 year old and too big for it now. Boy are we lucky to have it at the office! We have a similar one at home and its so nice to not have to lug it back and forth every day. She loves to shake and rock the seat. She'll coo and goo (and sometimes yell) at the animals. Here are a few photos of her:

my favorite is that last picture of elliot.
this girl has LOTS of personality

Elliot also loves to help me type emails, invoices, contracts and insurance updates. She's quite the cute assistant!

I know we are so blessed to be able to bring Elliot to work; I am so thankful to work for such a great boss!


shhhhhh elliot's sleeping!

So, this is life with a baby: making a milkshake in your bathroom

that's josh.
sitting on the toilet.
making a milkshake.

Elliot has been a little sensitive (to say the least!) in her night-time sleeping. So, when baby girl is down for the night you better believe we're tip-toeing around the house. Which also means blenders must be used as far away from her room as possible....and that means they're used in our bathroom.

Wow, we're making dessert in the bathroom---is that the ultimate in parental desperation or what?!

**ps, the milkshake pictures here is peanut butter and chocolate. so delish, even if it was made in the bathroom!


elliot weekly: week 14

14 weeks and looking large!

What we were up to this past week:

Lake time! We visited our friends Lauren and Matt (and baby Merrin--Elliot's bff) up at Lake Lure on Saturday. I forgot my camera and have no pictures :( I'll have to steal some of their's to share later. We also hung out with our friends LeeLee and Joe on Sunday at their house on Lake Badin. I did remember to take my camera....but had a blast on the lake and didn't really take too many pictures!

isn't he such a natural?!
leelee and joe are having their first baby this december
yay for more friends for elliot!

elliot looooved the lake.
can't you tell?!

Baby Pool Time: We had a baby pool for Elliot and thought it was about time we tested it out. Its just a $5 blow up plastic pool, but we weren't really going to invest that much since we have a pool (and baby pool) in our neighborhood. We would have just taken her up to the pool, but it doesn't have any shade. We set up Elliot's pool under our umbrella on the upper deck:

Those were our big adventures for the week (other than two up-the-back-dirty-diapers at work--------barf!) Here are a few funny faces from Elliot from this past week. Enjoy!



When you become a parent you enter a whole new world of multi-tasking.
-Blair Jones

Folks, you can quote me on that. I know, I know...my intellectual depth and life reflections are at times just so overwhelming. What can I say, I love Mensa.

Working out/staying fit is very important to me. Watching the Tour de France is very important to me. Watching my baby is very important to me. And I've figured out a way to do all three:

The little red thing in the back that's holding up the rear tire of my road bike, subsequently turning it into a stationery bike, is called a trainer. Truth be told, we actually bought the trainer when Josh was rehabbing his knee from his ACL surgery.

Elliot's most recent schedule has her napping from 5-6pm, which is normally when I've taken her for a run in the jogging stroller. She's starting to turn the corner with some of her sleep training (oh goodness, a post for another day!) and Josh and I are really trying to give her some good solid naptime during the day. She naps great while I'm at work, and she can cat-nap in the jogger---but its just not good sleep.

Enter: The Trainer. The Trainer gets two capital letters because he is that intense. There is no drafting and no downhills with a trainer. He's essentially the guy in the pace car telling me "no, no, no---keep up the pace, increase your cadence, you're getting dropped from the peloton!" It may be the most intense 50 minute workout I've had in a year (other than the bodypump class I went to with Sunday---crap that class was insane!)

The room I'm cycling in is our bonus room over our garage. Its just down the hall from Elliot's room, which makes it perfect for spinning-while-watching-the-tour-and-keeping-an-eye-out-for-my-baby. Ahhh, the art of the multi-tasking parent. Any of y'all out there with kids that have any multi-tasking/juggling stories to share??

*do you see that bag of trash in the hallway? just my spring-but-actually-now-summer cleaning.
*do you see that box in the hallway? it is headed toward the trashbag. it might take that box four days to get down the hall and into the trashbag. pacing, its all about pacing folks.


tour de france 2011

Ahhh, its (one of) my favorite time of the year: The Tour is on! Yep, its all cycling talk around Casa de Jones these days. We'll read and watch just about anything related to the tour, and boy is there a lot!

Here's a quick breakdown of a few topics Josh and I have been discussing:

Andy Schleck:

I love some Andy Schleck! He, and his brother Frank (also cute, I mean fabulous rider), left SaxoBank to form their own new team: Leopard Trek. He previously rode for team SaxoBank; the only team Andy had even ridden professionally for. So jumping to Leopard Trek was a huge risk...but I think its going to pay off for both the Schleck brothers. Last year, among other awards, Andy won Best Young Rider and finished 2nd overall in the Tour de France. I think this could really be his year. I can't wait to see Andy on top of the podium in Paris!

Tyler Farrar:

Tyler has been with Garmin Cervelo (previously Garmin Chipotle) since 2005. He's had several stage wins in some of the big tours, but never at the TDF--until yesterday! That's right, Farrar, my favorite sprinter, beat Mark Cavendish to the line for a win on Stage 3. I'm sure it had to do with more than just his fabulosity (like an incredible lead out from Thor) but it made me so happy. And, I definitely shed a tear when he crossed the line holding up a big "W" for his best friend Wouter Weylandt of team Leopard Trek(that died at the Giro d'Italia this past May.) I can't wait to see what else Tyler has in store for us!
Images by Freepik