Sunday, August 7, 2011

Easy Food Dishes From Our Kitchen

Over the years, we have been making an effort to cook new dinners and also improve existing dishes. It's nothing like making a new dish for the first time, and it tasting just as you wanted it to, if not better. The idea behind some of the dishes we create stem from eating these dishes out at different restaurants, and wanting to make it at home. We've had some successes with our journey, and this post will exhibit that. Unsuccessful dishes won't be included here, mainly because we have deliberately forgotten about them.
KD and I both want to be excellent cooks for different reasons. My reason is simply because I love food. KD's reason? Ask her....

So here are some pictures of some meals we have cooked recently....

Chicken, Green Beans, & Red Potatoes - Simple dish with hand-cut baked chicken and boiled vegetables seasoned to taste made by KD.

Beef Stir Fry - The vegetables were frozen in a bag (stir fry mix), and we cut up some beef. Delish.

Fried Pork Chops & Brussel Sprouts - I was eagerly hungry that eveing, as evident in missing piece of pork chop proir to taking the picture.

Baked Pork Chops & Green Beans - This was a pretty tender pork chop, and healthier then the previous picture. I have another pork chop recipes that is EVEN BETTER than the above two, but I think I ate all of it too quickly before remembering to capture a picture of others words, it was really good!

Buffalo Shrimp Quesadillas - I wanted to re-create this from Ruby Tuesday's version, but it did not turn out the same, although still pretty good. I did not have the right torilla, nor did I have a frying pan that flattens foods, hense the thickness.

Chopped Chicken, Pasta & Vegetables - KD made this dish and had some sort of grilling/roasting action going on with the chicken. Whatever she did, it was soooo good! I have three words for the chicken - soft, tasty, seconds.

Chicken, Pasta, & Garlic Toast - Another dish by KD with different pasta and vegetables. This was frozen pasta and came with its own sauce.

Steak, Shrimp Scampi, and Mix Vegetables - We will definitely be making this again some time soon. The vegetables consisted of yellow carrots, navy beans, and spincach. This dish was not perfect because I was too heavy on the seasoning for the shrimp. Next time, it will be perfect!

Fried Chicken Tenders, Brocolli & Cheese - I have finally leared how to make soft tenders after about 3 years.

SPECIALTY ALERT: Pepperoni & Bacon Pizza on Wheat Crust - KD gave this a 15 on a 10 point scale! I also make a BBQ chicken pepperoni pizza, but this one was way better. Another one of those too good to wait dishes. Disregard the old pizza pan...

Chicken & Vegetables - Another dish by KD. She says she is trying to perfect her roasted chicken before she moves on, but I say she is ready to move on! Delish.

(and for dessert) Chocolate Chip Muffins - I made these for a bake sale for the MS 150. They did not turn out as I expected, but nonetheless were pretty good.

These are a few staples in a long list of dishes we like to cook, and we're looking to add more recipes, so Khloa will think we are excellent cooks and so I can stop depending on restaurants for great food (like Ruby Tuesday's Buffalo Shrimp Quesadillas).

Do you have any favorite dishes you swear by? We'd like to hear about other homemade dishes that you have perfected in the comments section.


Friday, July 29, 2011

This Is How We Do It

(Photo booth pic taken at one of the Christmas parties we attended in Dec. '10. Just realized I was 4 months preggie & feeling great that night....)

Looking back...I wish I'd picked more props than a 'whatever' sign & the shades provided. I thought it was so cute though. haha.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Family Visit

Hey Y'all!

Last weekend, well actually last Friday, my sister came to the H-town to visit! Of course she came because of Khloa, but nonetheless we were so excited to see her! It's been probably over a year since I last saw her in person, considering the move, but it was like she lived down the street when she came. The reason I said last Friday because she was only able to stay for a day. But that day was so memorable.
First, she got in late afternoon on Friday, and KD, Khloa and I met her to pick her up from the bus station. BUS STATION?!?!?! Yes. See....she really, really wanted to see her new niece, and due to certain circumstances, she had to (brace yourself) fly into Austin, TX, catch a local metro bus to the Greyhound bus station, and catch the Greyhound to Houston! OMG! I truly commend my sister for going these lengths to get down here. This meant so much to us, so we definitely wanted to make sure her stay was welcomed with open arms. KD and I even said it would be extremely hard for us to go these lengths! My sister immediately took pictures of her niece and sat in the back of the ride playing with her the entire time. We talked the entire time while we were driving, about any and everything! We proceeded to Pappadeaux for dinner and ate really well as you can imagine.

From there we returned to our apartment and sat and talked literally all night. Because we are still new to this parenting thing, we were surprised and puzzled when my sister volunteered to feed, hold and change (repeat) Khloa while she was here. We were thinking, "should we take this opportunity to go to the club?". Of course we didn't, but it did feel good to not have to feed Khloa for once.

Unfortunately, she had to leave Saturday morning to return back home, and we got the pleasure of driving her to San Antonio for her return flight! Yes...San Antonio from Houston! We left out around 6am!! I don't even wake up this early for work! This time it was an even longer ride of wonderful conversation and Khloa slept the entire ride, which was very surprising. But then again, it appears she loves riding in the car because she goes to sleep every single time. What do you think?

yes, we still have stuff in boxes
at the San Antonio Houston Airport

Thanks again, sis for coming all the way from DC to visit, and we can't wait until you and your family comes back (hopefully later this year). KD and I were just talking about how this time I would like to cook for y'all instead of going out. We will have more time to visit Houston this next trip! See you soon!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Repost: Craig's List Find: Baby Bjorn Carrier



I've been meaning to post this one too. I'm thinking of starting a list of Craig's List finds on The Leo Duo because we've bought SO much stuff over the years from Craig's List it's crazy. I know there are some folks that don't trust CL especially since the The Craig's List killer news, but there are some great deals on there. This is a Baby Bjorn carrier we bought from a  man on CL in January I think. Just like with the Chicco Keyfit 30, I knew I wanted a Baby Bjorn carrier so that's all I looked for on CL. I researched baby carriers & I had my mind set on the BB. Guess how much we paid for it?? $10! It's dark blue (wish it were another color) and it's faded a little, but it's very sturdy. Walmart, Target, & Babies R' Us retail these babies for around $80-180 so $10 was nothing compared to those prices! Why pay full price when you can get it from someone who just wants to get rid of it??


Craig's List Find: Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat


Hey ya'll! Long time no blog. #lifewithababy haha I hope everyone is doing well & enjoying the summer. I know I am! We're loving Houston. :D Just wanted to do some quick posts on some items we bought for Khloa from Craig's List. We bought this from a nice woman from CL months ago while I was still preggie. We met up with her in a CVS parking lot in the daytime so it was cool. Her 4 month old could no longer fit in this! He must've been a big bag because this is supposed to last over 1 year. At Target, these retail for around $180 so we definitely got it for a steal. This was the exact car seat I wanted. The Chicco Keyfit 30 is the #1 rated car seat. :D It's also the easiest to install. We got it for $110. Craig's List wins again. ;-)


Monday, May 30, 2011

Now Introducing....Khloa August!

So...this post is long overdue, but nonetheless here are some exclusive photos of the new addition to our family: Khloa! (pronounced Klo-uh) And do you even need to know why her middle name is August?? Haha! In true Leo fashion! These were taken when she was 1 month and a few days. We were originally scheduled to do these within her 1st week of birth, but because she was born 6 weeks early she was in the NICU for almost 3 weeks. We would like to thank Aubrey Torrey for such amazing photos! They were just what we wanted. :-) During the 1st part of the shoot, Khloa was excellent. We were so proud of her for doing so well...The 2nd part was a different story, lol. She cried almost the entire time so we had to put the pacifier in her mouth. We're still proud of her though! So the real question is: Who does she look like?

Cole_1 month_9
Cole_1 month_18
 The purse was $2.99 at Micheal's. If she's anything like me, she will love purses! -K.D.
Cole_1 month_12
I think she looks like me here (Reign)
Cole_1 month_8
This is my favorite. -K.D.
Cole_1 month_5
Gotta represent...;-)
Cole_1 month_4
One of my faves as well!-K.D.
    Cole_1 month_7bw
    Cole_1 month_25
    Cole_1 month_28
    Cole_1 month_30
    Ugh, look at my gray hair...I'm coloring my hair again...
    Cole_1 month_26
    Cole_1 month_24
    Cole_1 month_23
    Cole_1 month_22
    Cole_1 month_31
    This picture was my idea (Reign), also my favorite!
    Have a great Memorial Day! :-)



    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    The Day is Here! The BP MS 150!


    Follow Reign's tweets here! @kcole81 And watch him finish off his first day arriving in LaGrange, TX in about 10-30 minutes. :D You guys already know I'll be watching.


    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    What's New with the Leo Duo

    For those of you that do not know, we had our baby early!! We are so excited but at the same time still shocked that the time is here. That is basically why we have not been blogging lately. Sorry folks. But now you know that we had a good reason! So with that said, we have other post to catch up on, and...drum roll please...our daughter's first photo shoot coming soon exclusively here on The Leo Duo.

    More details on our daughter and other news in our life like my bike ride (in 5 days!), what it was like to be a pregnant father (yes there is such a thing), and info on KD's labor experience (I hope) are to come. So sleep tight until then....


    Monday, April 11, 2011

    What I Hate About Houston

    We have been in this city for about seven months now, and I love everything there is about Houston: the big city atmosphere, low cost of living, diversity, plentiful bike trails, an over abundance of affordable housing developments, plentiful restaurants (I have never seem so many different restaurants that I never heard of). I can go on and on about what I love about Houston. BUT....

    There is a short list of what I do not like about Houston.

    1) Cost of car insurance - I thought because I would be in The South that car insurance would be significantly cheaper than D.C. I was sadly mistaken. It appears to be just about the same, if not more. But this is not too much of an issue for me. This was more of a wish I had hope for, because I did experience high insurance in DC. What is an issue is...

    2) Houston Drivers - Is it me, or is there at least one driver, everytime I'm behind the wheel, who drives as if they are mad at everyone around them AND they are running late AND they are running from the cops AND they're trying to show off their car AND they want to annoy other drivers by swerving in and out of lanes while driving 15-20 miles over the 30/mph speeding limit all at the same time?

    First, I admit, I do drive fast from time to time, but not if I am going to Kroger down the street. I mostly drive fast on the highway, and not in residential areas when I'm on my way to work knowing that there will be a chance that I will be stopping at traffic lights every 200 yards.

    When we first arrived, this is one of the first things I noticed about Houston and its drivers. It's very annoying and more of a pet peeve of mine, mainly because I do not like anyone driving faster than me.


    Saturday, March 26, 2011

    On to the Next Bike for the MS 150



    This the latest of four bikes I’ve had this year and there is no turning back now. This is the bike I'll be riding in the MS 150. With just about three weeks left, I am preparing better than ever. In the process of my training, I have lost 20 lbs. Whohoo! I have 20 more lbs. to go in my weight loss goal. I hope to have lost the last 20 by the end of May.

    But enough about my weight loss. I will go into a little detail about my bike and the journey’s I’ve been on during this training period with this and other bikes.


    First Ride
    The first long ride I did was 10 miles, and it was on a hybrid bike. Worst decision I ever made was to try to train on a bike purchased from Walmart. My advice: If you ever decide to participate in long distance biking then go to a real bike shop, and not a department store, to purchase a bike. I made that mistake twice. I decide to purchase a road bike from Target, and the bike came with the front wheel bent. So I return that bike, and got a second bike from Walmart, and the chain broke. I was basically trying to convince myself that I could train on a cheap bike. Luckily I was able to return both bikes, and not hurt myself while riding on them in the process.


    Latest Ride
    My last ride, I was able to get to about 36 miles before I called it quits. I loved every mile! But the next day, I only did about 10. This is perhaps the most grueling training I ever had to endure. But each weekend from this point forward, I will try to increase my distance each Saturday and Sunday leading up to the ride. My next training after the MS 150 will be the Insanity Workout Program.


    The best part about riding a bike for long distances is you get a different view of the scenery. When you are driving a car, you are moving too fast to see the details of what's around you, and have to keep your eyes in front of you. With biking, you are not going as fast as a car, and if you are lucky like we are here in Houston, there are many bike trails that keep you off the rodes so you do not have to share your ride with cars. Therefore, you have a better opportunity to see what’s around you. And it’s nothing like venturing to a new area and seeing what is ahead! This is the joy I find in riding. And I cannot wait to see what’s in store for the MS 150.


    I also rode with a co-worker of mine, Robert. We rode in an area called Kingwood, and it was awesome riding with another person. Again, just the different sceneries I’ve viewed increased my excitement for riding. Lastly, I rode through Memorial Park. They have a one mile loop that I used and travelled about 11 miles around the loop before I got bored. That’s when I decided to travel in other areas of the Park.

    Three more weeks! I cannot wait. Hopefully tomorrow I can wake up to meet some of my team members for a group ride at 7:30am. Wait...7:30!! I don’t even wait up that early for work! But we shall see...

    Update (3/27): I woke up today at about 12pm. So no early bike riding for me, but I still plan to do some working out today.

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