Southern State of Mind.

:Gag alert: I feel so blessed to be where I’m at in life. I have a beautiful husband who is the most kind person I know, who loves me more than I can comprehend. I have found a job that is both rewarding and challenging in a time when many people are still struggling to find employment. And I’ve been blessed with an amazing adventure in a wonderful city.

But this week, Texas was pulling on the strings of my heart. Most likely my homesick behavior has to deal with it being Fall and Football season. My absolute favorite time to be in Texas.Today kicks off the annual TX/OU weekend festivities, and this is the first time in 8 years that I haven’t been in Dallas for the Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl, the Texas State Fair, friends, and family.

(Image via)

So in an effort to bring a little bit of the South to Chicago, I am planning a Saturday full of homemade fair favorites, the big game turned up as loud as possible, and plenty of yummy fall libations. Until tomorrow, I will continue to jam to my favorite Texas country music playlist.

Happy Friday and HOOK EM HORNS!!

Homemade Corn Dogs (via)

2/3 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of yellow corn meal

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne

1 egg

3/4 cup of whole milk

4 hot dogs or veggie dogs

4 tablespoons of cornstarch (for dredging)

4 skewers (cut to a 6 inch length)

Grab a pair of tongs and line a baking sheet with paper towels. (For the corn dogs after frying.)

Pour your oil in a cast iron skillet, dutch oven, or deep fryer. Heat over medium-high heat until your thermometer reads 375F (Note: My thermometer broke (long story) so I eyeballed this. Obviously, this isn’t the way to go but I just tested the oil by putting a drop of the batter in. When it rose to the top, I knew it was ready).

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, yellow corn meal, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cayenne. In a large bowl whisk the one egg and whole milk. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients all at once, mixing until just combined. The mixture will look a lot like pancake mix. Don’t over-mix and let it rest for 10 minutes. Note: I found it easiest to transfer the mixture to a skinnier cup. It made it much easier to dip in the batter.

While your batter is resting, lay your cornstarch on a baking sheet or big plate. Place each hot dog on a skewer and roll in the cornstarch, being sure to pat off any excess. Then quickly dip the hot dog in and out of the batter. Immediately place the corn dog in the hot oil. Be careful! The oil will be hot and may splash back at you. Cook until the coating is golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Remove with tongs and place on paper towels for draining. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cotija Cheese

(Image via)

An Austin staple and a great spin on your traditional margarita…

Trudy’s Mexican Martini (via)

2 oz. Tequila – Use a good silver tequila. The light color makes it look better.
1 1/2 oz. Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
2 oz. Lime Juice. (Don’t use a mix for this drink. Sweet and Sour will ruin it.)
1 oz. Orange Juice.
1 splash Sprite
1 splash olive juice – or more to taste.
Jalapeno stuffed olives

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it and strain it into a BIG cocktail glass with a salted rim. Spear a few jalapeno stuffed olives and garnish the drink. Serve it up.

(Image via)

What are your favorite game day memories?



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Taking the plunge.

It’s a funny thing taking risks. I’ve always been known to veer on the “safe” side of things, finding solace in organizational lists, planning my life months out in advance, and always knowing exactly where I was headed.

After 25 years, I have finally decided to just let go and let be.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, a lot of planning went into getting to the place where we’re at now. But we also didn’t end up half-way across the country without a little faith, flexibility…and, you got it, risk.

Half-way across the country would be in Chicago, Illinois. Approximately 1,179 miles from our home of Austin, Texas. “We” would refer to BK, my favorite person in the world. So, 75 days after saying “I Do”, we packed up our world in Texas and set off for the great Midwest.

For months, BK and I had been planning a move and upon closing in on our wedding date we decided Chicago would be the best fit for both of us. We were calling it an adventure, and we got plenty of questions from friends and family asking us about our plans. To be honest, the only plan we had was to move. Nervous would be a total understatement, and somewhere around mid-July I tried to chicken out. B wouldn’t let me.

Somehow the pieces fell together with B joining the business school at DePaul University and me finding my dream job. Securing a place to live was stressful in a large city and we learned many lessons along the way. But we are now happily moved into our new home in Lincoln Park.

I recently graduated from University of Texas with my Masters in Advertising (HOOK ‘EM!), and now happily work as a Copywriter in the creative department of an advertising agency in downtown Chicago. This blog was a idea curated from family back home asking for updates and a office full of midwesterners thinking it would be funny for a Texas girl to blog her way through her first Chicago winter.

More to come on life as a newlywed, this wonderful city, and everyday joy….So happy you’re here!


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This is a victory lap.

Test 1,2,3



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