Archive for category food

Winter Gin Recipe

I was having one of those nights during finals. My shoulders hurt from being slumped over a laptop. I was writing and writing and writing. It was late and cold outside. I was ready for a break.

Husbanks whipped up this beauty for me. If you just thought gin was for the summer – think again! Mix these things together in a fancy glass coffee mug and enjoy with a pretty scarf wrapped around your neck:

Hot Gin Cocktail
2 oz gin
3/4 oz lemon juice
2 oz boiling water
1 tsp sugar
1 cinnamon stick



It’s Hot: Final Day of Gin Week on Hilstreet

Husbanks gave me herb plants for Mother’s Day.

So I have mint to spare. Mint and gin are a good match.

We had fresh limeade with cucumber at a party a couple weeks ago. It was delicious and refreshing. Here’s a fun recipe that incorporates these flavors with gin and mint.

Today’s Recipe: The Eastside
2 oz. gin
1 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz.simple syrup
2 mint sprigs
3 cucumber slices

Notice my scorched mint. It’s HOT! Even for the coolest of cool, spearmint.

Thank you for all your comment participation in gin week!


It’s Hot: Day Four of Gin Week on Hilstreet

This is my favorite of all the Gin recipes.

Today’s recipe: Ginny
Add one part Susan, one part Mike (lots of martini knowledge there)
A dash of James Taylor
8 oz. nursing
A made-up language with her nursing buddies
Pour travel generously
A year of 22D
Asian babies (optional)


It’s Hot: Day Three of Gin Week on Hilstreet

Books on CD are expensive. That’s why we share ours. Johanna has the most audiobooks in her library, and she is more than gracious.

Morgan has the copy of Julie and Julia. I so enjoyed listening to the fun, warm story of Austinite turned New Yorker turned famous blogger while driving to Oklahoma one winter.

I loved her project and her quest to create something other than work to define her. She and her husband would often enjoy a gimlet nightcap.

My boss’ daughter’s best friend is the actual Julie. That’s kind of interesting.

Today’s recipe inspired by Julie and JuliaGimlet

2 oz. gin or vodka
1/2 oz. lime juice*
1/4 to 1/2 oz. simple syrup*

Shake over ice in a martini shaker. Garnish with lime.

*2/3 oz. Rose’s Lime Juice can substitute for lime and simple syrup.


It’s Hot: Day Two of Gin Week on Hilstreet

Like most high school girls in the 90s, I knew (know) all the words to Rent.

Today’s recipe inspired by Rent: Tom Collins

1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. London dry gin
Soda water
Cherry and lemon or orange slice

Serve over ice.


It’s Hot: Gin Week on Hilstreet

I enjoyed a much-anticipated girls night last week. The enlightening conversation! The laughs! The wine! I thought about it all day leading up to the big event. The minute the waiter arrived I busted out with “tempernillo!” I did not need time to look over the wine list.

My company took the time to look over the wine list. And they had sparkling wine.

Because we were dining al fresco.

And it was abillion degrees.


Red wine is not a heat-wave beverage. I need some refreshing drinks in my repertoire. And as much as it pains me to admit it in the land of TexMex … I’m not a margarita gal.

And gin reminds us a little of Don Draper. Which can never be bad.

Enter: gin! And a post series!

I’ll share one drink recipe everyday this week. Today’s is the classic recipe for gin.

Today’s Recipe: Martini
1 1/2 oz. gin
1 1/2 oz. vermouth
Lemon peel

Shake (with ice) and pour into a chilled martini glass.


Help Us Understand

We’ve had food on our minds lately. Husbanks and I have been humbled by the fact that we have enough to eat. This sounds obvious, but when you think of the desperation in the world and the amount of people who don’t have access to sustainable food sources, it’s a tremendous blessing.

In the U.S. we complain because we have too many choices. I gain weight because I can have anything I want to eat at any time. And then I complain about all the weight I have gained because I don’t ‘feel pretty.’ What sounds good for dinner? can be met with exactly the meal I want. It’s heartbreaking.

When Husbanks and I say grace over our dinner, we ask, “help us understand what we should do to help people who don’t have enough.”

I have prayed this cautiously for the past several months, because I knew that God would make it obvious what Husbanks and I needed to do to help those who don’t have enough. And I was afraid it would be scary and hard. And I am already dealing with scary and hard questions about our future.

Well, it was made obvious how we could help those who don’t have enough. But it’s not scary or hard. It’s pretty cool, actually. I got offered a job as the Missions Coordinator at my church. I am very, very excited to already have a pastoral job in mission and ministry before I even enter into the ordination process. I’ll use skills gained in my previous career to represent our church and mission-loving United Methodists to external organizations. The hours are manageable with school, I get pastoral mentorship from our experienced pastors at a church I love, and I’ll work with groups that help people who don’t have enough. I start in May.

I think this job came to our family because Husbanks and I asked to understand what we should do to help those people who don’t have enough. Glad I was honest and put it out there.

Will this be in a sermon someday? Maybe.

I’ll let you know what I learn.



Last week my mom and I decided to make chili. We realized we didn’t have any of the ingredients, but that didn’t stop us. We will forever call this “chili” (air quotes).

The ingredients:

  • Ground Beef Ground Buffalo Meat
  • White Onion Dried Onion Flakes
  • Garlic Dried Garlic Flakes
  • Red Kidney Beans No Salt Added Black Beans
  • Tomato Sauce Beef Broth and Tomato Paste
  • Green Bell Pepper A Can of Green Chiles
  • Cornbread on the Side Pita

No really – after we realized we didn’t have kidney beans … why did we keep going?


A Really Good Salad

Lacy asked me for a salad recipe last week. I have been making this for lunch and it is really good.

  • Mixed Baby Greens
  • 1/2 Pink Lady apple, cut into cubes
  • a few dried cranberries
  • a few pecans
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • squirt of agave nectar
  • sprinkle of Penzeys Salad Seasoning

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Behold! The Prettiest Cake I Have Ever Made

It looks like a big piece of candy, doesn’t it?

It’s peanut butter in there. YUM.

It’s not from daytime TV, but it is a recipe nonetheless. Adapted from Penzey‘s Groom’s Peanut Butter Pound Cake (page 51)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk

8 oz.semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine butter and peanut butter in mixer until creamy. Add sugar and mix. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour half of flour mixture into butter mixture, mix. Pour in milk, mix. Pour in rest of flour mixture, and you guessed it … mix.

Grease and lightly flour a 9 inch cake pan. Or, if you are mature like me, make it in a heart shape even though it used to piss you off (thanks for the heart cake pans, Johanna!).

Place in a cold oven, turn on oven to 325° F for 45 minutes or until done. Test center with toothpick.

Cool for 20 minutes on wire rack (with wax paper under it) in pan, then flip onto wire rack to cool completely. Then bring on the icing!

Icing: Bring whipping cream to a boil and pour over chocolate chips in a mixing bowl. Combine and pour over center of the cake, then smooth to the edges and watch it flow over the sides in all its glory.