Monthly Archives: January 2014

Superbowl Sunday Party Drink

Hi, y’all…Katherine here.  I know it’s been some time since my last blog post.  Kids, work, the holidays and all the other “stuff” that comes with raising a family has set me back.   Since my last visit, I’ve also been enjoying football season.  With the Super Bowl just around the corner, comes the sadness that football will be gone from my life until August.  For a Texas girl, that is just plain sad.

Football in the South is a ritual for women.  We love to get lots of food ready, put the beer on ice, and turn on ESPN Game Day. It’s not unusual for us to drink a few throughout this process.  After all, it is allowed on game day.  Isn’t it?  Out come the jerseys and any memorabilia that we have.  It’s most fun when the man of the house likes a different team!  Luckily, they don’t allow you to get a divorce on these grounds.

The atmosphere is one of fun and competition – even the kids get in on it.  It’s the one day when we moms can act crazy, have a few, and curse like a sailor.  So, I thought it only appropriate to share  one of my favorite football party beverages so you can serve it at your game day party!

The Micheladaimages-3

Combine the juice with 1 teaspoon of Worcerstershire sauce and 2 or 3 shakes of Tabasco sauce in a salt-rimmed glass.  Fill with ice then add chilled beer (I love mine with Corona or Tecate) and stir.

To give your beer some team spirit, I loved this idea from The Food Network Magazine.  Serve your Michelada with salt rims in your team’s colors.  Mix ¼ cup kosher salt with a little gel food coloring and spread salt on a plate.  Then dampen the rim of a glass with a lime wedge and dip it in the salt before filling.

Yummy!  And in case you were wondering, I’ll be rooting for Peyton Manning.  This die-hard Cowboy fan once again finds herself on the sidelines for another Super Bowl.

xo-Katherine

PS   Jamie here, weighing in.  As a born and raised Steelers fan, it’s safe to say Katherine and I are usually on opposite sides of the field…but in this game we agree.  Go Broncos!

Photo Credit:  Michael Kraus/Saveur Magazine

Reading Recommendation: Under the Wide and Starry Sky

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  This review contains some spoilers.

Under The Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan, is available for pre-order on Amazon.512r0I4z-nL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-47,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_  The book summary on Amazon reads:

At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires.  Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”
           
Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing—and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair—marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness—that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales.

The story opens in Fanny’s point of view, and she initially comes across as an empathetic, modern-thinking, independent woman.  I was invested in her struggles and her goals for the first half of the book.  When she finally meets Robert, he is instantly smitten with her (as I was with him).  Once she finally warms to him, then begins their May/December romance, which spans twenty years and several continents, family dramas, divorce, and much illness.

For me, the story soon became overwhelmingly depressing.  Fanny and Robert’s lives are filled with much turmoil, and there was little to lighten the read.  I acknowledge, however, others may find their triumphs to be inspirational.  Part of my less-than-enthusiastic response to their story has to do with the fact that, as it went on, I increasingly found Fanny to be vain, self-centered, and a bit too invested in playing the martyr at times.  She seemed jealous of his friends, his success, and even her own daughter.  I would’ve totally lost interest in the love story were it not for the portrayal of Robert, who was quite a romantic (not only in his relationship with Fanny, but also in his relationships with his friends and the world at large).  I rooted for him to prevail at every turn, and felt invested in his happiness, if not hers.

Because the book covers so much ground, some events were glossed over when the book skipped ahead a year or more.  At times, this robbed the story of emotion, although I can’t offer a better suggestion for how the author could have condensed the story.

Essentially, if you love historical fiction and/or Robert Louis Stevenson, you will enjoy this peek into his life.  Ms. Horan’s meticulous research and creative talent help bring the exotic elements of the story to life.  I’m glad I got to see this intimate side of Mr. Stevenson, and applaud Ms. Horan on an undertaking of such proportion.

xo-Jamie

PS  What are you guys reading?

Opposites Attract…and Repel

“After another moment’s silence, she mumbled that I was peculiar, that that was probably why she loved me but that one day I might disgust her for the very same reason” ~ Albert Camus

Does this general sentiment sound familiar?  My mother and I joke that often the very traits drawing you to your partner will usually be the ones you become most frustrated by over time. datingcartoon125

I grew up in a loving family prone to vibrant “debates” (also known as arguments) and a lot of constructive criticism.  In contrast, my husband grew up without criticism or debate as part of his upbringing.  He was a playful, happy guy who didn’t get overly emotional, which was a new and soothing experience for me.  Peace…what a concept!  Similarly, my intensity and decisiveness excited and challenged him, and opened him to new possibilities.

Fast-forward eighteen years and I think we’d both agree these previously admired qualities are at the heart of most of our disagreements.  Now I can get annoyed with the constant playfulness when I feel it disrupts my attempts to get our family to accomplish something.  Likewise, my tendency toward seriousness (his dad nicknamed me “All Business”) and expectation can feel weighty and confining to him.

Through observation of other couples, I can see a similar dynamic at play, especially when the traits are in direct opposition.  One spouse is gentle and soft-spoken, the other quick to ignite.  One loves outdoor sports, the other prefers quiet hobbies like cooking or painting.  In every case, the characteristic that incited passionate discovery and awakening somehow gets tarnished and feels like a yoke around one’s neck.

How a person (or couple) handles these matters will determine whether or not the relationship survives.  This is a source of conflict I’d like explore in my writing eventually.  But for now, I tend to address these irritations by keeping them in perspective.  Yes, some of my husband’s attitudes conflict with my own, but we have many others in total harmony.  We’ve got loads of trust, years of history, and two beautiful children to remind us of everything at stake when our egos assert themselves in an unpleasant contest of wills.  Humor helps, too.  For instance, my father-in-law amended my moniker to “Mostly Business” after I nicknamed him (and his son) “All Nonsense.”  For now, these tactics are working.  But it doesn’t change the fact that what drew us together is, in fact, what irks us at times.

Anyone else out there share this experience, or am I alone?

xo-Jamie