Salesman: What city do you live in?
Me: Rensselaer [Wrens-uh-leer]
Salesman: Oh you're not originally from here?
Me: *Blush* No sir. I just moved here from Texas.
Salesman: Ahh I thought I heard a Southern drawl, and the "sir" just did you in.

Oh how I thought I was going to blend in...wrong-o!
My Texas license plates don't help much either.
My new friend, the salesman, informed me that "natives" pronounce Rensselaer: [Wrens-lur] and quickly might I add.  He then proceeded to quiz me on the pronunciation of Schenectady [Skuh-neck-tuh-dee], and thankfully I redeemed myself on that one.

Has anyone in the South ever noticed the unique names and spelling of cities up North? No?
Well here is a taste test for you. See if you can pronounce these.

And enjoy this one...Schaghticoke...bless you.

This morning I woke up early (6:00am) for my first day of volunteering...stayed tuned for further posts on that...and it was 54 degrees and raining. As I left the house, my weather channel app warned me of strong winds 30-50mph. Whoa. Thank you weather channel...they were right! A scary 50mph wind at that. After volunteering, I walk out to my car and my weather channel app now tells me it's 39 degrees and dropping. Snow is forecasted for tomorrow...sigh. Don't get me wrong, I do love the snow and all its beauty. I don't like how you track it into your car, then your home, and I seem to shock myself on every object imaginable. Maybe I need a humidifier?

Cold front on its way in

The other night I treated my "roomie" to an old elementary days favorite recipe of mine. I'm not sure if my mom ever fixed this, but I do remember the Graves' household always served it and I loved it!

Irish Shepard's Pie
This recipe comes to you compliments of "Iowa Girl Eats"
Her tutorial was great, complete with step by step instructions for us visual learning folk. It turned out great! I will tell you that next time I will add a packet of Lipton onion soup mix to give it more of a savory taste. Or use beef broth instead of chicken, makes sense.

I would also whip my potatoes into garlic mashed instead of regular. But that is definitely a preference of the Aslan (and Freeman) household. WE LOVE GARLIC!
Again, I fell in love with my kitchen-aid mixer. Ladies and gents, I "mashed" my potatoes in less than 30 seconds. 
Can I get an amen? Butter and a dollop of sour cream were added as you can see in the photo.


I added a new subscription link in the top left of my blog so that you can be notified by e-mail whenever I post, if you wish!

Enjoy! From our home to yours,

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Snowed In


Of course the first day I have a huge to-do list the New York skies decide to drop three inches of snow.  This Texan does not drive in snow...yet!
The plus side to this wintry mix is that Joe came home from work early because of road conditions and I accomplished some much needed apartment cleaning. 

This weekend was filled with a lot of shopping and prepping for Joe's first business trip which is coming up next week. Dockers, a suit and shirts galore were a few of the items added to his new professional wardrobe. After shopping until we dropped, we headed home, got "gussied" up and headed out on the town. Dinner was at the Albany Pump Station, which is a craft brewery that calls Albany home. 
They had great burgers and better beer! A must for any craft brew enthusiasts who come for a visit. 

A glimpse at our "gussied" up outfits and an introduction to the newest blog genre, outfit of the day (#ootd)

Rule #1 of outfit of the day (#ootd) posts:
Typical posts include links to websites where all articles of fashion can be found. This includes clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc. 
Rule #2
Pictures include different angles of outfits and fashion.
Rule #3 
Hang in there, we are novice to this new genre of the blogging world. This was our pilot post and will adhere to said rules as we figure this out.

In other news, since Joe was home this afternoon, I decided to make garlic hummus. YUM!
This is my recipe from over the years and love to make for a healthy snack alternative.

1 can chick peas drained (set drained juice to the side you will need 1/4 cup for recipe)
1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 heaping table spoon of Tahini (see link for description here)
2 Tablespoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) 
Garlic salt to season 

Place chick peas, tahini, garlic, chick pea "juice" and juice from whole lemon in food processor (I used the magic bullet). 
Pulse until smooth. Add EVOO in small amounts to achieve a creamier textured hummus. 

A lot of this recipe is made to your liking. If you want more garlic, throw it on in there!

Serve the hummus chilled with warm Naan (shown in above picture), fresh vegetables such as carrots and cucumbers, your favorite crackers, or pretzels. I usually drizzle a little bit of EVOO and garlic salt on the top of the hummus (see picture below)
Enjoy your healthier snacking alternative and stay tuned for more Albany Adventures!

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Take-Out, Fake-Out Success


Another culinary creation success last night here in the Aslan Abode. This is a "Take-Out, Fake-Out" recipe from Table for Two , another wonderful blog with delightful recipes that are sure to be a hit at home.

Joe absolutely loves PF Changs! Back in Texas, when suggesting restaurants for weekend dates he would always include PF Changs. 
One of his favorite dishes is the Mongolian Beef.
Well ladies and gentleman, I about replicated it last night for dinner and it was delicious! 
Joe even said I should cook this dish for when the brothers come to visit. 
(Love brother points!)

Be sure to check out the link, so you may recreate this creation at home!

Picking out red meat is a new task for me. If ever I were to eat red meat, it would be at home, right off of dad's grill. Or it would be your everyday pound of good 'ol ground chuck. 
Boy did we have fun in the meat section at the grocery store. 
The recipe calls for flank steak, and sure enough not one package claimed itself flank steak. Being a novice hunter of red meat, I consulted Wiki for something similar to flank steak. London broil is what we ended up with. I suppose they are synonymous? Feel free to educate this gatherer. 
Now in the picture of the recipe you will see the meat looks thinly cut and at an angle...oh boy is right. 
Have no fear YouTube to the rescue. Find this helpful and quick tutorial here


The only tip I have for this dish other than the selecting and preparing of meat is, don't wait until your Mongolian Beef is almost complete before starting your basmati rice. 
If you made this mistake as I did, just make sure you use your third arm aka husband to continue to stir the Mongolian Beef so it wont clump and get too thick with the cornstarch.

Viola! Enjoy,
The Aslans

We've made it y'all


Good morning from the chilly Northeast! It is currently 5 degrees with fresh snow on the ground.
Welcome back to the blog. Joe and I are officially residents of Rensselaer New York. It's a whole new world up here with adventures and journeys I can't wait to share. 

This blog will include tidbits of a multitude of things.
Updates on our newlywed lives. New recipes I've attempted in the kitchen. Outfits of the day, AKA #ootd for my fellow "hashtaggers". 
And anecdotes about living, loving and making memories in the great and extremely cold state of New York. 

First up: Snow, snow and more snow! Since I have arrived the average temperature has been about 17 degrees. A local news anchor claimed this is the coldest the upstate has seen in 4 years...great.

 View from our balcony. I am hoping to snap a picture like this for each season, yes I said each season. As in four throughout the year. Texans do not know of such seasons.

In today's post I wanted to treat readers to my first attempt at making a loaf of bread with our new Kitchen Aid Mixer that we received for a wedding present.

My first recipe came from "This Gal Cooks": Rosemary & roasted Garlic Bread. She has a wonderful blog full of easy recipes with great instructions here.

Doesn't this look like fun?



The end product was eventually a success, but a few tips for the novice housewife.

1st: Always use a dough hook when mixing most doughs, especially a yeast bread dough...duh right? 
I knew this, I was just so excited to use the mixer that all common sense flew out the window. 
Incorrect attachment
Correct dough hook attachment
2nd: Remove new wedding rings before having to remove dough mixture from incorrect attachment.
Hubby had to take over photography at this point because of uber "doughy" hands

Other mishaps included forgetting to roast the garlic in the beginning for my "roasted garlic bread" etc. Overall I successfully created a delicious loaf of bread that paired wonderfully with our Sunday roast which had been cooking in the crock for hours.

Do you remember your newlywed kitchen blunders? Feel free to share!

With love from New York and back,
The Aslans