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Recipe! Southwest Chicken…

Did this one for the first time last night, delish!  Enjoy:

Cafe Annie’s Southwestern Grilled Chicken With Lime Butter
CDKitchen http://www.cdkitchen.com
Serves/Makes: 6 | Difficulty Level: 3 | Ready In: 30-60 minutes
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken parts
***Lime Butter***
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 serrano chile, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced white onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 pinch ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine first 8 ingredients. With a spoon or a basting brush, spread the
seasoning paste over the chicken.
Grill the chicken using medium heat for a gas grill or indirect heat for a charcoal grill. Close the
lid and grill until chicken reaches 180 degrees F in the thighs and 170 degrees F in the breast,
about 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine all lime butter ingredients. Drizzle over chicken just before serving or
serve separately for dipping.
Recipe from Cafe Annie, Houston, Texas.


Our new apartment has 3 closets and only 1 bedroom, and I hated the idea of making part of my dining room (something I’ve never had before) into my office.  So, with a little inspiration from Anna over at Door Sixteen, I made our large closet in the living room into a closet office!

Here’s what it looked like before:



And here’s what I did, with lots of help from my hubby (and a friendly worker in the Home Depot lumber department):


I’m not really sure what I’ll put on the walls – a shelf?  Picture rail w/ framed photos?  I haven’t even begun to really unpack that stuff so I’ll figure it out.  Here’s what it looks like without the chair:


Don’t those beautiful dark-stained doors just look pretty?  It’s like a window into what this apartment once was, you know, before the 8 layers of sloppily-painted muck on the walls.  And I’m excited to get to finally unpack my office stuff with all the built-in shelving:


I originally was hoping to get a nice piece of natural wood, but the sizes were so weird, and this melamine-laminated wood came in the EXACT depth I needed, we just had to have Home Depot cut the length down for us.  Easy-Peasy.  Not so easy to mount the brackets (or to find the studs with a sort-of-not-working stud finder, but we managed.  Still have a little bit of work to do – figure out where to keep cords, paint the white trim at the bottom, etc.

But my closet-office dream has come true.  And I am HAPPY. :-)

Dispenser of Good and Evil, Alright.

Before I begin posting wedding pictures, I thought I’d share some info on the newest member of our family:


Actually, this is the real picture of our new apartment-mate:

We adopted Zeus from my parents’ farm.  Normally my parents don’t keep house pets, but they found this cat with a severely broken leg one day, and since it was my mom’s favorite, it was privileged enough to get a trip to the vet, an x-ray, and a cast for several weeks.  It stayed in the house while it recovered, and adapted quickly to indoor life.

The trip to Chicago was rough for Zeus, he was really anxious during the 5-hour drive, and at one point puked more than I thought a cat could ever puke.  We pulled off at a gas station, and I think I got my first taste of what parenthood might be like.  That was really fun to clean up (glad it was in a cat carrier.)

Camera straps are fun toys.

My parents had named him Puff before they took it to the vet and learned it was a boy.  We were not so keen on having such a feminine name for a boy cat, and when we were trying to come up with names, an image of the Greek god Zeus came into my head and with this cat’s long, white hair, Zeus he became.  In Greek mythology, Zeus was the king of gods, and the protector of humankind.  One little blurb I read on the computer says Zeus was the “dispenser of good and evil” – and that description is so fitting.  Zeus is an extremely affectionate cat on most days; he’s been sitting quietly on my lap for most of the time I have been writing this post.  He is super frisky though, and as far as ‘dispensing evil?’  One word: LITTERBOX.

One of these days I’ll get around to videotaping him, because he is super quirky.  Like how when we go to the bathroom and close the door, he’ll lie down right outside the door and stick both paws under and swipe around at our feet.  And I’d love to show everyone how he plays fetch… quite impressive for a cat.

That’s all for now!

A letter from me to them

Dear Fellow Chicagoans,

I am so proud that you shoveled this morning to dig your car out of the after-effects of the blizzard that just went through.  Really, I am impressed.  However, I would really appreciate if you could kindly remove all your chairs, mailbox posts, orange cones, and other garage junk from the parking spaces that you shoveled – you do not own the street and while I am so utterly blown away by your shoveling skills, I have to find a place to park for work in the morning.


Hannah Dearest

I know what I want for my birthday.

Scheduled to come out at the end of November, this is the newest item on my photography wishlist:

The Canon 5D Mark II

Looks exactly like the camera I have now, but do you notice that cute little “Mark II” label on the corner?  Let me explain why I am pining after this camera which I’m not necessarily sure I can justify purchasing right now but am coming up with pretty convincing excuses for:

21.1 Megapixels on a full-frame sensor.  Meaning gorgeous, huge images.  I began my digital photography with the 5D, and would settle for nothing less than Canon’s full-frame lifestyle. :-)

Amazingly high ISOs with little noise –  extended up to 25,600.  Not that I would ever want to shoot at that ISO, but this camera can pretty much see in the dark.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about with ISO, think of the good ol’ days of purchasing film at Wal-Mart … will you buy 200 speed for outdoor photos, 400, or go all-out grainy with 800 speed?  What about 25,600 speed?  Only in the digital age.

3″ LCD screen with LiveView – meaning you can turn the screen on like any small digital point & shoot and see what’s in the frame without looking through the viewfinder.  Great because normally, to get a creative angle, I am either climbing up dangerously high on something or lying with my belly on the ground.

And finally, IT SHOOTS VIDEO, and not only your standard video, full HD video.  You should really check out the promo video that was recorded with this pretty camera: REVERIE.  Right now the video isn’t available because too many people have been watching it, I’ve seen in twice and it takes my breath away every time.

In addition to all that, it’s a weather-sealed camera, which my 5D is not, shoots 3.9 frames per second, a step up from my 5D’s 3.0.

Suggested retail price right now is $2699, but I’m going to wait for a Canon rebate program to begin, so I can get it cheaper.  Oh, Canon, why do you do the things you do?


Folks, may I just express my exasperation… these fuzzy beings are populating my entire apartment:


The culprit… Charcoal-colored shaggy luxury from Urban Outfitters:


The solution, (and all I want for Christmas *EARLY* this year), a Hoky:


My mother has a Hoky, an 80’s-ish brown metal sweeper with natural bristles.  I think I used to scoff at it back in the day (when I was 12), when I thought “real” vacuuming was fun.  The new Hoky models have some fancy self-cleaning roto-brushes, and cost a pretty penny of about $60.  Cheaper than a vacuum by far, and supposedly worth it.  Unfortunately, a 4″ memory foam mattress topper is higher on the “things I can’t live without” list right now… guess Josiah and I will live with the fuzz for a little while longer.

Happy Bday Josiah!

Wednesday was Josiah’s 22nd birthday, but since we were unpacking that day, we celebrated yesterday, complete with a homemade cake that I baked him!


I feel so blessed to have met and married such a wonderful guy… I love you, honey!

P.S. Anyone wanna come over for some cake and ice cream?

Life Update!

Hi everyone,

So a lot has happened since I last blogged, I got married June 6th (YAY!) and next Tuesday, I’m moving back to Chicago, which I’m super excited about! I can’t say I’m excited for the actual moving (5 hour drive with a car packed with boxes…) but I have missed the bustle of the city and my city friends for a long time now, and it’s time to get back! I have a whole series of blogs coming up soon, and hope to get them up before I go, but no promises! Before I show you what I’ve been up to, here are a couple shots from MY own wedding, photographed by Lisa from Real Life Weddings in Chicago.





Our main photographer, Karra, shot all kinds of black & white film – panoramic, medium format, 35mm… we are still waiting for them anxiously!

Important Video – Kitchen Fires

Just thought I’d post this, I know, I know, some major blogging slumber here on my end. Watch this video though, it could save your life.


Lazy Day.

Though I did run some errands today, it was a pretty lazy day around here. This evening Josiah and I watched “Catch Me if You Can,” he hadn’t seen it, it’s a fun movie.

Today’s picture: My new beloved friend. I picked him up at Home Depot. Wanna help me name him? (I’ve been dying to get a new plant since last spring. And now I finally have one.) He’s a happy red-tipped jade plant, and I intend to keep him for years and years.

p.s. Josiah and I realized tonight that if all goes as planned, we will be getting hitched in exactly nine months from today! Hooray!