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I really can’t believe it’s already July- where did June go??? We are definitely in the middle of summer now although this week is supposed to be in the 80′s and Thursday is the 4th! Not sure what our plans are yet but they’ll probably involve water, friends, food and drinks- just maybe not in the order.
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Here are a few not that interesting iPhone pics from the last week of the month…
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My favorite little girl

I know I already posted about my pool day with Stella last Sunday but couldn’t resist just one more. This kid is seriously great and I love hanging out with her!
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addicted

I’ve always been a reader but here lately it’s been in excess; going through about a book every 2-3 days! I’m really into the mystery/thriller genre right now and it all started with Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (5 stars from me!). I now simply Google “books like Gone Girl” and order pretty much all of them. My last few have all been great: The Best Revenge by Stephen White, Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern, Dark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes, Defending Jacob by William Landay, and Die for You by Lisa Unger. I love the book I can’t put down or stop thinking about…
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Soon to be Mr. & Mrs. Fowler | Oysters

This couple is one of my favorites and it has been nearly 6 months since I’ve seen them! They both have 2 kids and now that they’re engaged, only 2 short of being the real Brady Bunch! I used to work with Bekah and she is one of my all time best friends; it doesn’t take us long to reacquaint no matter the time in between. And Dan is one of the best cooks ever- above is Oysters Bienville- absolutely delicious! I’m so happy for these two; their beautiful new home, sweet joined family, and their friendship!
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New restaurant The Fold

We’ve really been wanting to try this place out since it opened a few months ago but every time we go there’s at least a 20 minute wait. Friday night we finally got a table and it turns out the wait is well worth it; the taco’s are to die for! I had the spicy gazpacho and to be honest was not a huge fan but did taste everyone’s taco’s and they really were delicious. Good times with my brother and sister-in-law- we try to do dinner at least once a week and it’s great being so close friends with your family!

Saturday night was dinner again at YaYa’s which is also always delicious and then just hanging out at a friend’s house instead of going to the bar. It was a great night and a great decision! But the best thing of all, our cab driver:

5 stars!!!

This guy was straight out of Cash Cab- we played trivia all the way home- with flashing lights and sirens when we got an answer right! I love that his card also reads “will take you anywhere in the USA!” Now that’s a good cabby…

Sunday we concluded the fun week with lunch at Santos Coyote and delicious raspberry daiquiris poolside. Overall, lots of my favorite things!

Hope you had a great weekend and a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!!!

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Last night I attended a Fish & Seafood Cookery class through the Arkansas Extended Learning Center in WLR at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. I walked in having no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised!

There weren’t too many people- maybe 8 total in the class and we all just stood around, wine in hand which was a definite plus, and learned all about cooking fish! Our chef, Robin Sullivan, was awesome, friendly, and obviously well versed in the kitchen. She studied at the San Fransisco Culinary Institute, practiced in France, and really made it all look quite easy. Will have to give it a try on my own and see if I agree…

We started with a tilapia fish taco and Robin explained how to tell if fish was good by simply looking and smelling. It should be clean cut and not smell fishy…

fish from Sam's vs Kroger. Sam's was much thicker

recommended this stuff to season the fish with

Then she melted butter and oil and just threw it in a pan. This was the part I’m a little worried about- temp and time- but she gave no specifics as it all depends on the thickness of the fish. She said to eyeball it and make sure it was firm and not translucent…

not completely cooked yet (left)- done when white and flaky (right)

She used canned black beans with salt and pepper, store bought mango salso with fresh cilantro, chopped queso panela mexican cheese, and lightly fried corn and flour tortillas to complete the dish. Super easy and seriously delicious!

i loved it!

the group

Next was the salmon, and dang was this a big piece of fish or what! She marinated it for just a minute in teriyaki sauce and garlic and popped it in the oven at 375 for ??? Again, she said knowing when it was done was by sight and not time… This may be a problem for me on my own…

slightly pink= not done

We also had orzo with spinach and red peppers. Pretty tasty and definitely something I think I could pull off…

now done.

yum

Final course was something my friend Cathy actually made for me last time I was visiting:

A really easy, yummy seafood stew. You can use whatever seafood you want (and honestly Cat used way bigger and better shrimp & scallops) and just throw it all into a pot of tomatoes, garlic and seafood stock. It was a bit more complicated than that but overall, seemed pretty simple…

all kinds of shellfish

getting nasty stuff out of crab and mussels

everyone getting involved

cook for a while

add bread and parsley and you're done!

Very good tasting stuff!

Overall I really enjoyed the class and hope to take more of them in the future. The AELC offers all kinds of cool classes for pretty cheap (ours was $89 for the 2 of us and we left really full!); besides cooking, I also hope to take the beginners sewing class since I’ve long forgotten everything I learned in the last class I took… They offer photography, wine and cheese tastings, gardening, dancing and lots of other stuff to expand your skills. Highly recommended!

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Thanks for a fun time!

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Happy birthday to Andrea, the big three-one, no longer the baby of her 30′s! A few of the girls met at Las Palmas to celebrate with a few drinks after work last night and it was a great time as always. Andrea is mom to this girl, one of the cutest little brown-eyed darlings I’ve ever seen! Her and I have been friends for years now and I’m super thankful for her always smiling, always happy personality. Love you to death sister- here’s to the best year yet!

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“Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be”


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Baby Taylor is not such a baby anymore! She’s 4 going on 16 and an absolute doll! The previous night partiers met for brunch at Brownings the next morning and I was super glad I had my camera b/c Tay Tay was there. She’d just finished her dance class- where she earned the Princess necklace for the SECOND time in a row!- and was happy to show us some of her moves.
Love this little stinker…

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