Ryan and I decided a couple weeks ago to make a road trip to Texas (more on that reasoning later). We knew it would be a quick trip but the timing with his work just wasn’t working out. At the last minute this week he was told he could have Friday off so we planned to leave Thursday night. Now in a perfect world this would have had us arriving in Dallas about 1pm Friday afternoon, give or take. Well we’d soon find out we were giving more than taking! I called our amazing dog sitter to see if she could stay the weekend and she was free so we rented a car and headed out!
I’ll admit we didn’t leave on time on Thursday. We left around 8 pm so we thought, okay, we’ll be there in time for dinner and can do a few things Friday before heading to our B&B.
*Side note: We love staying at B&B’s. This is for a couple reasons. First of all they are so welcoming and feel like staying at a home (duh because you are!). Secondly, we love to support small businesses! And thirdly, you always get a yummy home cooked breakfast. Well this B&B exceeded our expectation, but more on that later! If you’re traveling to a new place, I highly encourage checking out bedandbreakfast.com to see if there are any great places to stay. It will through you into the area charm much more than a regular hotel room and 9 times out of 10 they are way cheaper and are cozy and romantic!
So anyways, back to our drive. I knew it would be a hard drive since Ryan and I are usually in bed by 9/9:30 and we had 19+ hours ahead of us! Well tough was an understatement. I have really bad vision (yes I have contacts and glasses, don’t worry!) and driving at night, or in “weather” only point out that problem to me more. Driving through Arizona and New Mexico wasn’t bad as we were just trying to find a good system for switching off. About ¾ the way through New Mexico the sun began to rise and that was such a special time because, lets be honest, we don’t typically wake up to watch the sun rise, which judging by the beauty of that morning, is a shame. There is something so powerful about the sun rising and starting a new day. It was gorgeous. So I wanted to stop and take a picture, which is when I got my fist glimpse at what 20 degree weather felt like, holy moly bur!
The next few hours where uneventful. We stopped at Krispy Kreams and Starbucks, which was amazing, then continued on our way for the next few hours. We started to notice snow on the ground a few hours into Texas which got worse as we drove on. I’ll spare you the details of the next few hours because there wasn’t much going on just two sleepy people wanting to make it to Dallas! THEN IT HAPPENED! It was about 4:30pm and according to our GPS we had about 2 hours, give or take, left and we hit traffic. I’m not taking a little traffic, I’m talking turn off your car, you aren’t going anywhere traffic. Which is what we did, turned off our car, thanked God that my Papa and step mom were wise enough to remind us to bring plenty of snacks, water, and blankets, and sat there… For 8 hours! Yes you read that right, 8 hours!
We met some new friends as we were all just stuck in one place. We were so grateful we had just filled up on gas because some people were starting to run out. We did notice one positive thing (which after that many hours you need to find some good in the situation!), which was the willingness for others to help in crummy situations. For us, Ryan let a few people borrow our cell phones to make calls to worries family members as well as helped broken down cars move to a place they could be helped. For others it was letting people share a seat in a warm car to avoid everyone running out of gas. It was really a cool experience, plus we met a bunch of Texans ready to tell us all the great aspects of the state! And remind us this never happens!
Our car was full of frost!
So, fast forward 8 hours, it’s now the middle of the night, the roads are insanely slippery with a coat of ice on top, and we are again, on our way. I seriously spent a combined many hours in prayer as we saw so many incredibly horrible accidents. It felt unreal, like we were watching a bad movie or something. We’ve seriously never seen so many overturned semi trucks, smashed cars, and crying people at one time. It was horrible and my prayers go out to those families and the fire and rescue teams that responded in the 12-degree weather.
Scraping the windshield with a credit card!
So we finally made it to our B&B at 5am! (Mind you, when I said short trip I meant we planned to drive home Saturday night and by now its already Saturday morning… Insert tears here). When we pulled up to our B&B I was instantly in love. It was absolutely gorgeous and the snow just added to how beautiful the old home looked.
Obviously we were exhausted but I have never slept in a more comfortable bed in my life. There was a big fireplace in our room and overall it was the perfect atmosphere and all that we’d gone through to get there was so worth it… even for the fact we were only there for 5 hours! We were meeting with some friends to check out the area at 10:30am so we slept, enjoyed breakfast, then got back in the dreaded car. Thank goodness the car we rented was super comfortable because that could have made a bad situation worse.
We had a blast checking out Dallas/Fort Worth and, because of the weather, not too many people we out so we didn’t hit any traffic driving around the city. We ate at The Rustic in downtown Dallas which was THE best food we’ve ever had. We loved this restaurant! We really appreciate restaurants that buy local, organic, good food. I loved that their meats lived a good life and you could taste the difference in their food. We can’t wait to go back!
*Side note about the food… Guys, this place is seriously amazing! We’ve been talking about it ever since we left! I had a wood grilled turkey sandwich and Ryan had the rustic burger. It was the most flavorful and perfectly cooked meal I’ve ever had. We had the double drip appetizer which was their smoked chips with corn queso and onion dip. Then, my sandwich had wood grilled turkey, texas gouda, and smoked ham on it topped with slaw and apple butter. I also subbed the chips for their avocado salad which I’m already trying to remake tonight! I’m hooked! Ryan’s burger was topped with chopped house brisket, white cheddar, green chili, grilled white onion, and their burger sauce. Then, to top it all off, the manager brought out a slice of their peanut pie. They said it’s for us to have for visiting Dallas and it was amazing. We took most of it home because we were soo full from the food but every part of the meal was incredible. We don’t typically drink alcohol (wine not included!) but in the spirit of celebrating our trip we both ordered a drink, which was delicious, and I could go on about the food for days. It was definitely a place we’ll visit any time we are in Texas! The atmosphere is great, the service was wonderful, and the food was out of this world! We miss it already!
Sadly, after we ate, we headed back along our 19+ journey home to California. We already have a list going of things we want to do next time we visit. We didn’t get to check out McKinney, which I was most looking forward to, but it’ll be great to plan our next trip (in which we plan to FLY). It was a great time overall though. We had fun with each other and made the most out of the situation we were in! Thank goodness driving home was pretty uneventful! We hit rain once driving through Palm Springs until we got home but we couldn’t wait to kiss our babies and judging by their cries and wagging tails… they missed us to!
Until next time Texas… We’ve fallen in love with you!
One of my favorite feelings is trying a new recipe and it coming out great! As I’ve mentioned before, I find cooking for others an act of love. Whether its for friends, family, or just my hubby and me, I think its such a wonderful act to turn a bunch of individual ingredients into a yummy meal for others. Plus it’s definitely an act of serving… especially as you do the dishes!
Anyways, I made a new recipe for our family this week and according to Ryan it was the second best thing I’ve ever made (Jerk Chicken is still in the lead! Get that recipe here).
1 package futtuccine pasta or linguine pasta
8-10 small sweet peppers (I buy the bag of mini peppers from Sprouts)
2-3 sausages of you choice (I use spicy chicken sausage)
1 cup pasta water + 3-5 bullion cubes
*I found “Better Than Bullion” from Sprouts and prefer this over cubes. It has a ton of flavor and made a difference in this dish. I have since seen it at a few different markets and its definitely worth a try. If you use this, you only need about 1 tbsp. You can also just use broth.
1. Prepare your ingredients. Cut peppers into small rounds and bell pepper into small pieces. Chop onion to equal size pieces as other veggies.
2. Add olive oil to your pan (I started with a large pan and eventually moved to my dutch oven. Looking back I’d just use a dutch oven… Way easier!). Saute oinion, sweet peppers, and bell peppers in the pan until about ¾ done. Add sausage to the pan and cook until done.
3. Remove sausage from the pan and cut on a diagonal. Return to pan.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta to package directions.
5. Add pasta water + bullion and combine until mixed. Add the mixture to the pan with the peppers and sausage.
6. Add the cream to the pan as well. Stir to combine. Mixture will begin to thicken.
7. Add cooked noodles, parsley, and garlic to the pan. Toss to combine.
*We don’t like tomatoes but adding some halved cherry tomatoes would be good. We topped with shredded Italian cheese blend.
I have been looking forward to Friday all week. My hubby is home for the next two days and we have a couple big projects around the house to do (including taking down our Christmas décor… eesh!).
We were planning to go out with friends for dinner and a show tonight but Ryan had to work late and we were forced to cancel at the last minute. This being said I had a couple extra hours to prepare dinner and I thought I’d go for something a little out of the norm for us. Chicken or ground turkey are out typical meats of choice and we are always saying we need to try to make something different… which brings us to tonight! I made pork chops with a peach, rosemary, and sage honey glaze. I originally found a similar recipe on Michaela Noelle. I made a couple tweaks to the recipe and it is definitely going to be a repeat in our house. One big thing we enjoyed was the addition of our Sage Honey from Happy Girls Kitchen Co. in Northern California. We order this honey online and always have it stocked. Its an amazing addition to hot water with lemon or hot tea or of course a dish like this!
pork chops (I used 10oz chops each)
1. In a sauté pan large enough to hold both pork chops with plenty of room, add olive oil and warm. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook covered on medium for 5 minutes
2. Flip chops, re cover and cook about 10 minutes longer (internal temp should be about 145 you just don’t want them too tough so use your judgment)
3. Remove from pan and cover with foil. Set aside
4. Pour white wine in pan and scrape bottom of pan
6. Boil mixture about 2 minutes
7. Add peaches and rosemary to pan and simmer until peaches soft
8. Turn off heat and add butter (I added slightly less than 2 TBS because it looked the way I wanted it to but again, its your preference)
9. Serve with veggies (and potatoes for my husband) and enjoy!