Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Like almost everyone out there, I love Halloween!! Scary movies are a personal favorite of mine whether they are corny, gruesome or thrilling I enjoy watching them all! Nothing beats being able to go home and have a plethora of horror movies to choose from on the TV. 

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

1. Martyrs - An amazing story about a woman's quest for revenge. This movie is seriously f*&%ed up. A must see if you like scary movies.

2. The Exorcist - The traditional scary movie that you watch at least once every year.

3.  Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon - This is more of a spoof movie, but brilliantly done. It is shot in documentary format and follows the next great psycho horror slasher known as Leslie Vernon. Leslie is a regular guy who gives a documentary crew a behind the scenes look as he brings terror to his town of Glen Echo. Like no other movie you have ever seen before. It's fantastic!!

4. The Cabin in the Woods - Another spoof type movie, but was very clever and funny while still maintaining the horror/thriller factor. The first time I saw this movie I absolutely loved it! It made me laugh and gave me the creeps at the same time.


5.  The Evil Dead - I'm cheating here because I like the original and the new one! Flesh-possessing demons, sign me up!!! Both of these movies give me the creeps. Sure they are different, they were made 30 years apart. There are a lot of die hard old school The Evil Dead fans who hate the new one, but being a general movie fanatic I can see that both of these movies are equally good and for different reasons. I'll let you guys decide if you like the original, the re-make or both, but beware these movies are scary.

Also who doesn't like candy and going to Halloween parties?!? Any excuse for a get together is a good one for me. I put quite a bit of thought into what David and I were going to be for Halloween this year. David usually makes no attempt at a costume and will put together whatever he can find, so I knew it had to be something that was easy and that he would actually wear. Easy is key around our house. So I thought about it for awhile and finally decided that we would be Mr. and Mrs. Fox from Fantastic Mr. Fox

We are both Wes Anderson fans and I knew that would be an easy enough costume to put together. 

For Mr. Fox all we needed was a white short sleeve button up shirt, khaki pants and a brown striped tie (all pieces were found at a thrift store for under $10). 

For Mrs. Fox I needed a yellow dress, paint brushes, scissors and a craft apron to hold the paint accessories. I found a great yellow dress on Modcloth. The price was more than I wanted to spend so I decided that I wouldn't paint the dress and only paint the craft apron, which I found for $1.99. That way I can still wear the dress on occasions other than Halloween. 

Then all we had to worry about were the faces. I didn't know if I should try to buy a fox mask or make one. Since I was trying to not spend a lot of money on costumes we would only wear once or twice, I figured I could make some fox masks and be done with it. 

Here is how it all turned out.


I think our costumes turned out great and I was quite surprised at how well the masks turned out too since I painted them by hand. I used a standard water color set and looked at pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Fox while I painted them. I am no artist and I am terrible at almost all kinds of art, but I took my time and they turned out pretty darn good.

Hope you guys have a great Halloween! I would love to know/see what you guys did for Halloween so leave me a comment or link on where I can find them!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

October/November Concerts, Shows and Venues

Recipe posts seem to have taken over the blog the last few weeks, but now it is time for me to take a break and step away from the kitchen. Another one of my favorite things about this season is all of the bands that have decided to go on tour. Fall is the perfect time for touring because it's not too hot or too cold. Everyone wants to be outside or crammed into a little hole-in-the-wall venue with no A/C more so during September through November then any other time of year. Sure we love sweating it out with the bands we love and who are ballsy enough to tour during the summer, but there is something about the crisp, cool night air that makes everyone's hearts swell. 

We were able to see two bands perform last week.


 The first one was Stolas, last Friday, at our beloved local hole-in-the-wall venue, The Ten Eleven. Stolas is comprised of four guys and their sound is much like that of Dance Gavin Dance and A Lot Like Birds (all considered post-hardcore/experimental type music). Now, I am no music authority and I don't write music reviews. I just know what I like and these guys are good. Plain and simple. You can check out Stolas on facebook or listen to their album "Living Creatures" on their bandcamp page. If you know and like Dance Gavin Dance or A Lot Like Birds, then you will definitely like Stolas. We even had the pleasure of hosting the guys at our house for the evening since they needed a place to stay. Some truly incredible dudes that work hard and take their work seriously, but still have a lot of fun.

The next day, David and I drove up to Austin to see TTNG (This Town Needs Guns), Mylets and And So I Watched You From Afar. We really went up there to see TTNG, but were very impressed by Henry Kohen who is Mylets. These bands are considered math rock. In case you don't know what math rock is, here is the definition (thanks, Wikipedia!) Math rock is a rhythmically complex, often guitar-based, style of experimental rock and indie rock[1] music that emerged in the late 1990s, influenced byprogressive rock bands like King Crimson and 20th century minimalist composers such as Steve Reich. It is characterized by complex, atypical rhythmicstructures (including irregular stopping and starting), counterpoint, odd time signatures, angular melodies, and extended, often dissonantchords.

David and I have been big fans of TTNG for quite some time now, and this was our second time seeing them perform. What an amazing performance it was! We saw them at Red7 on the outside stage. We had great weather and there was a decent crowd, minus some drunk people heckling the bands in between songs, but overall it was a great show. We weren't big fans of And So I Watched You From Afar so we went ahead and took off early to beat the traffic and embark upon our one hour drive home. We made it home just in time to watch the latest episode of SNL with host Bruce Willis and musical guest Katy Perry. I have to say that the "Boy Dance Party" sketch was my favorite!

So in the next few weeks, we have a few other shows planned.

Our favorite local band Búho will be playing at The Ten Eleven on Friday November 1st and November 7th.


From Indian Lakes will be playing in San Antonio at Jack's Patio Bar on November 9th and in Austin at Stubbs on the 10th. This will be the first time we are seeing this band and we couldn't be more excited!! They were a part of my Summer Vinyl Releases and Album Obsession post back in August. 

He is Legend will be in Austin at Empire Control Room on November 14th. This will be the first time we have ever seen He is Legend. We have been fans for years and years, but they just got back together to record their new album and they are doing a tour for it. Hells yes!!!

Black Taxi will be performing in San Antonio at 502 Bar on November 20th and again in Austin at Stubbs on the 22nd. Black Taxi puts on one of the greatest live shows ever! The first time we saw them perform live, us as well as the crowd just couldn't stop dancing. Since that night, we were hooked! We love that they always come back to San Antonio to play at 502 Bar even though they are from New York. So much love for those guys. 

 So many of our favorite bands! It is definitely going to be one of the best seasons we have ever had!

Any good shows that you have been to or looking forward to? I would love to hear about it.


**Note: All of the pictures from this post were taken from from either Facebook or Google. Want to see some of my own pics or videos you can find me on instagram

Friday, October 18, 2013

Easy Garlic & Herb Pizza Crust Recipe

For over a year now I have been making the same pizza crust week after week. In an effort to mix things up and try something new I came up with this easy garlic and herb pizza crust. I am absolutely in love with this new pizza crust recipe! I have come to believe that this is the best crust recipe I have found to date and I am excited to share it with you so you can try it out for yourselves. 

 This recipe produces around four 12" - 14" pizza crusts. Just enough to have a couple people over or save them for another night. This recipe calls for less flour than my old recipe so it mixes up easier in the kitchen aid mixer I have. This recipe is also ready in about an hour and a half so you can mix it up day of unlike the other pizza dough that sits in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

For this recipe you will need:

- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tsp dry active yeast
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Start off by sprinkling the yeast into the warm water. The water should be warm, but not hot so that it activates the yeast and doesn't kill it. 

Next sprinkle on the sugar. This will assist the activation of the yeast. Trust me, you always want to add sugar when you are working with dry active yeast. If you are using something else, you can always google how to use the substitute ingredients. 

Give the sugar, water and yeast mixture a gentle stir and place it in a warm dark place for about 15 minutes. I usually just stick it in the turned off oven. 

Here is what the yeast will look like when it is activated. A lovely little poof of foamy yeast resting on top of the water. 

In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and herbs. Give it a quick stir so that all ingredients are combined.

You will then want to slowly add the flour to the water mixture 1 cup at a time. 

Once the dough comes together, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and continue mixing until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. If it is still sticky, then you can add more flour until it stops.

From there you can knead the dough by hand or use the dough hook for the mixer. You will want to knead the dough for about 6-7 minutes or until the dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticks to your hands. 

Place 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a bowl and add the dough. Flip the dough over so that it is covered with oil on both sides. 

Then you will want to cover the bowl and place in a warm dark place for 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size. 

Once the dough has doubled in size you can split into four equal balls and let sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. 

While the dough is rising for the second time, you can get your toppings and the oven ready.

When I cook my pizza dough, I usually place the rack on the second highest slot (just enough for the dough to fit underneath), and I preheat the oven to 550 degrees Fahrenheit (287.77 degrees Celsius). I let the oven preheat for at least 30-45 minutes before I stick the pizza in there. Yes this is very hot and will cook the pizza in a matter of minutes, so be sure to check on your pizza frequently until it is done. Mine usually takes about 5-7 minutes depending on how soft/crispy you prefer your pizza crust.

Make sure you roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. You can coat both sides of the dough ball in flour and then use your hands to turn the dough while you flatten it. You can shape the dough into any size that you want including round, rectangular or even a heart shape as seen below :) 

Another helpful tip is that I place my pizza on parchment paper and then a flat cookie sheet to help slide it onto the pizza stone. This keeps my pizza stone nice and clean and assists with moving the pizza from counter to oven and back out again. For me this is easier than adding additional flour to the bottom of the pizza which can dry out the crust and no one wants a mouthful of floury dry pizza. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them! You can check out my old Pizza Night post for more helpful tips on making your own pizza crust. 

Pizza making can be tough at first, but once you get the hang of it it gets easier and easier each time. Do not be discouraged if the pizza isn't perfect your first time as it took me months to perfect the way that I like my pizza. You really have to experiment with it until you find what you like, but that's one of the most fun parts about making things from scratch! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

One of my favorite things about the weekends is breakfast!!  Well… by the time we get up it's usually brunch, but you know what I mean. ;)

  I love that I have enough time on weekend mornings to make delicious, from scratch breakfast. During the weekdays it's usually just a smoothie or something quick and easy, but this past Sunday I made biscuits and gravy. It has become one of our favorite weekend meals and I love that it's so easy & cheap to make. I can usually find a pound of ground pork at the grocery store for under $2 and the rest of the ingredients are basic enough that I usually have them on hand. 

For the biscuits you will need:
*Makes 6-7 biscuits

 - 2 cups flour
 - 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
 - 1 tsp Sugar
 - 1 tsp Salt
 - 3/4 cup Buttermilk (you can use regular milk or learn how to make buttermilk substitute here)
 - 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) melted & cooled

Start by melting the stick of butter. I don't have a microwave so I just used the stovetop. I placed the stick of butter in an oven/stove safe dish and melted it on the stovetop. But to save time, please feel free to use a microwave if you've got one.

As it is melting I combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

 Once the butter is melted, I add the butter to the buttermilk and give it a little stir.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and fold together until just combined.

Try not to over mix/over work the dough as this will make the biscuits a little tough.

Dump the mixture onto a well floured flat surface and pat down to about 1 to 1-1/2 inch thickness.

I used a round drinking glass to cut out my biscuits from the dough. Place your cut biscuits onto an ungreased baking pan and Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

While the biscuits are cooking you can make the sausage gravy. 

You will need:
- 2 Tbsp bacon fat or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage*
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme*
- 1 tsp fresh parsley*
- 1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
- salt and pepper

*If you are using dried herbs then reduce the amount by one third.

Begin by combining the ground pork, onion, garlic, sage, thyme, parsley and chili flakes.

 In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the bacon fat or oil and dump in the meat mixture. Add a healthy pinch of salt to assist with the cooking process.

Cook until the meat is brown and crumbly and the onions are translucent.

Once the meat is cooked, add the 3 Tbsp of flour. Stir until all of the flour is mixed in with the meat.

Add 1 cup of milk and stir. Once it starts to thicken up, add the other 1 cup of milk and another healthy pinch of salt.

Continue to cook over low-medium heat stirring frequently until the mixture becomes thick like a gravy. Go ahead and taste and add any additional salt and pepper.

Once it is seasoned to your liking, it is ready to go on top of those warm, tender and buttery biscuits.

We usually top our biscuits and gravy with a fried egg, but they are good to go as is.

My favorite thing about this recipe is that it is so basic that you can really play around with the flavors. You can add fresh herbs, such as rosemary or lavender, and/or cheese to the biscuits and they still come out incredible! Also try changing up the flavors that go into the meat. Add a little nutmeg for a sweeter breakfast sausage or add more sage and red pepper flakes for a real punch in the mouth. Regardless of what you put in it, it will still come out great. Have fun with it!!