Tales from the Hill's Country

Quips, stories and observations from our adventures in marriage and parenting (as told by Katie).

Monday, January 31, 2011

Bridal Cooking Lessons

My dear friend Lindsay is getting married!

This weekend her friend, Catherine, hosted a super fun kitchen shower. The shower was at Well Done Cooking Classes which was a really neat way to change up the typical wedding shower (for those of us that are averaging seven weddings a year). We started with gifts, then our Chef talked us through making a delicious meal. SO fun! :)

Here's a quick snapshot in motion:
In the lower left corner you might see a signed apron. We all signed it and the bold letters said, "Taste At Your Own Risk, New Bride Cooking". So cute! Most people signed with their favorite recipes, but one creative gal signed with phone numbers to her favorite take-out. Love it!

In addition to a "cooking tool belt" (with flowers on it!), the hostess also gave Lindsay a chef's hat with a veil to wear during the party.

To date, this was one of the most fun showers I've attended (and I've attended quite a few). Chef hats off to the hostess and a HUGE congratulations to Lindsay and Brent!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Supper Club 2011

For Supper Club this year we are trying something different. Each meal will come from the cookbook Peace Meals (which was put together by the Houston Junior League). 
Since picking the theme (then choosing a dish that fit the theme) seemed to be the most stressful part of Supper Club last year, we got together and chose 12 menus for 2011. 

January was a hit with this menu: 

Maple Salmon Bites (p. 65)
Seared Yellowtail Tuna Salad with Wasabi Vinaigrette (p. 127)
Roasted Beets with Orange (p. 213)
Chocolate Pots du Crème (p. 244)

I was in charge of the Maple Salmon Bites and Tuna. I only got a picture of the Maple Salmon Bites:
Those were definitely the hit of the night! Everyone listed that as their favorite. Word to the wise: order the salmon with skin OFF from the seafood counter. I didn't even think to mention that... and peeling skin from salmon is not easy!

The Seared Yellowtail Tuna Salad with Wasabi Vinaigrette was good too. Though changing the quantity from two to five was a little tricky. Due to the cost of sashimi grade tuna patties, I think that this is best served for a special couples meal. It would be a really impressive dish for Valentine's Day! Ours was good, but next time I think I'll double the wasabi paste and half the salt. 

Ashley was in charge of the Roasted Beets with Orange and the Chocolate Pots du Crème. The Beets were good, though Ashley mentioned that the way she "normally" cooks beets (that girl's awesome-- I'm not sure I had even eaten a beet before Thursday!) is just as good and much easier. The Pots du Crème were good too... but we all agreed that we like the Chocolate Molten Lava Cake (p. 242) much better. (I made that at last January's Supper Club and it's been a staple at our dinner parties ever since!)

Next month promises Duck, Smoked Gouda Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Vanilla Bean Souffle-- can't wait!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I've been spending a lot of this year crafting. Enhancing items with glass etching or vinyl or fabric. I've been soaking in inspiration from the internet and scouring stores for ideas (and supplies). Although I'm not ready to "officially" launch* my etsy store, I have been slowly building my repertoire and have even sold a few items!! 

*When I'm ready to "launch" I'll post a status on Facebook... until then, I'm just mentioning it to friends who ask, "what have you been up to?" :)

Here are some things I've been working on:
Full, red wreath covered in flannel rosettes! I think it's adorable! If it didn't take so darn long to make, I'd have one in each color! But for now I've sold the red one and working on a purple one. (Upcoming post: the difference between felt and flannel... doh!)
 (This one might need to get jazzed up with some green and gold for Mardi Gras!)

I've also been glass etching like crazy! That's one of the reasons I don't want to advertise my little store too much yet... there's so much glass etching on there, I'm afraid people will think that's all I do!

Personalized decals are SO in right now; I've been able to make a few for some customers (this is what it looks like when I ship it, you peel off the white stuff, then stick it to the wall... or helmet... or whatever you're using!).
I have lots of other tricks up my sleeve including coasters, party invitations, cupcake toppers, screen printed onsies, lush throw pillows and maybe even some jewelry! But my business motto has always been "slow and steady" so it might be a while before all my inspirations are listed!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

King Orion XIII and his Court

This past weekend Chris and I went to Baton Rouge. While you might say one never needs an excuse to visit family, we did have some work to get done in the planning for PD's reign on February 26th.

We all gathered Saturday morning as the King met his court for photos. This was the first time they all had their complete outfits on for the first time. It was a struggle getting PD to sit still for the transformation, but finally the King arrived:
And the photos started:
The pages were adorable. PD had the little boys laughing and dancing throughout the shoot!
Here's that same page watching the big kids:
Before everyone left, PD got a quick pic with part of his planning krewe:
And as expected, PD's outfit was coming apart within a few hours:
Although the mustache was off, PD insisted on wearing his beard to lunch. It wasn't long, though, before that was also falling off and we got creative...
Things are getting busier and busier, but we're excited to pass a good time with everyone soon!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Decorating for Mardi Gras

It's Mardi Gras season!

All King's Day (or Epiphany) was on January 6th. For most Louisianians (and those that celebrate MG like this Texas girl!) it marks the day that you are allowed to decorate for Mardi Gras (kind of like how you have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas).

So, on January 6th, I did just that. Since Christmas is red and green (and gold for our family) it's easy to transfer over to MG-- swap out the red for purple!

Here's our "Mardi Gras Tree":

You can see our tree from the front window, so I keep the lights off. Being in Texas, I'm afraid that our neighbors will think we're lazy when they see a Christmas tree up at the end of February! But once you come inside, it's easy to see, that this is not a Christmas tree anymore!

We jazzed up our garland too, here's a close up:

Those "feather sticks" are a converted boa that we used at our wedding. 

Here, I've changed the red Christmas balls with purple ones:
You can also see I've hung some masks on the wall.

A simple boa provided the lagniappe I needed for the dining room mirror:
The saying (which means "Let the Good Times Roll!") is up year round.

We (finally) bought a new table for the kitchen. It's a high, rectangular table with 4 high chairs. I LOVE it! Before we had a "dofor" (as in, that'll "do for" now) table that was hardly used. Now, people gravitate to this perching spot and the room looks so much bigger!

I gave it that tacky Mardi Gras tree for some flair.

I made this fun banner for the kitchen:

Here's a close-up:
I'm thinking about selling it on my etsy store. How much should I charge?

With that, Mardi Gras season is in full swing! King PD (Chris' dad) and his court have taken their official photos (I'll post those soon) and the King's helpers (aka, Jojo, Laura and I) have planned and plotted for the 130+ (and growing daily) guests of the King at the Krewe of Orion Parade and Masquerade. Let the good times roll!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


A few weeks ago I was angry with Martha Stewart for her obviously faulty marshmallow recipe.

Then my friend Lindsay invited me to join her friends (now my friends too!) for game night. My job? Dessert.

Great! No problem! I'll make cookies. I'm good at those, right?

Erp. Somehow I accidentally made chocolate chip crepes.

The good news? They still tasted great! At least that's what my sweet husband told me... I made a second batch for the ladies. Those looked a little better... I promise.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Early Mornings

Chris is an early riser by nature. Even on Saturday he's wide awake at 7am. I stumble and grumble out of bed much later.

Our work week routine starts a little earlier, but Chris is always up and gone before I'm fully out of bed. Once I pry myself from the pillow I usually take a shower, make the bed, eat breakfast, etc. Gordon likes to stay in bed until I pick him up and force him outside. There's some grumbling with that too. When I get out of the shower I usually see him nestled in the covers, one ear flips up to let me know he sees me, but he's snoozing. This makes me insanely jealous.

The other day things got mixed up and for some reason I made the bed (and forced Gordon out of it) before my shower. When I got out, I couldn't find him! Until I put on my glasses and looked a little closer:

Notice the one flipped up ear. Ah! What a life!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It's January 2nd... doesn't it feel like Christmas happened months ago? I feel like I need to rush to take down my Christmas lights!

Chris and I drove to Baton Rouge on Christmas morning (we opened gifts on Christmas Eve) and spent the evening having a wonderful Christmas dinner with the Hunsuckers. Ms. Julia is an amazing cook and decorator-- I love watching her in action (especially in their newly remodel kitchen)! Regretfully, I did not take any photos this year, but here's one from last year:
At each place setting is a Christmas Cracker (or popper) and inside are little trinkets and a paper crown! Always a hit!
(Also from last year)

The day after Christmas Liz M. hosted her second annual "Boxing Day" Party. And for the second year in a row, I wore my adult Christmas onesie. This is not supposed to be a costume party... but somehow it ended up that way last year:
This year I wasn't feeling well, but still wore the onesie! I didn't take any photos, though.

The next day I still wasn't feeling well and couldn't make it to the engagement party for the eldest Hunsucker son and his fiance. I did send our gift with Chris, though... personalized pyrex dishes! Apparently this was quite the hit and I was asked to come by and show the ladies how I created them once I was feeling better.

Thankfully, by Tuesday, I was feeling better. Because PD had gotten us tickets to see Jerry Jeff Walker at the Listening Room. This literally just a room with seating for about 150. Half of that seating is on sofas and lounge chairs. JJW brought his wife and his dog and for an hour and a half I sat motionless listening to his stories and music. It was absolutely amazing. I only snapped one pic and it was of Bear (the dog) and Jerry Jeff jamming out together.
It was magical. I was so thankful to my generous father-in-law,  PD for giving us that opportunity!

The next day was the Cricut party and I showed about 5 of the ladies from the engagement party some of my tricks and tips. They all agreed that I was on to something and suggested I try to share my talents with the world! So I've started a store, called "A Little Something Extra". You can find it at www.etsy.com/shop/katiekomo. As of this writing I haven't actually put up anything for sale... but that should change by the end of today! (Hopefully!)

I am often so humbled and grateful for my family (the Beards, the Hills AND the Couvillions!). Chris and I drove back on New Year's Eve morning, happy and full of new memories.