Sunday, November 28, 2010

El Toro Restaurant in Houston

Be aware that I'm not a professional reviewer, by any means. I'm just writing about a restaurant which is my aunt's favorite one. She and I visited on Friday afternoon for lunch and found it to be very unique in its decor and atmosphere. It was almost as if it were some swanky restaurant in some big city--but on a smaller scale.

As Aunt Nona and I stepped into the restaurant, we saw this red reindeer standing on the front greeting station. There were more Christmas decorations, but I didn't have the smart button on whilst I was there so y'all will have to imagine how cool they looked.

This is only a part of the wall art in the hallway leading to los banos. Gorgeous isn't it? All the decor is beautiful--tons better than the decor you see in most Mexican restaurants.

Between the bar and the restaurant proper are these tilted crushed glass "windows" which separate--kinda--the two parts of the restaurant. I thought it just looked really cool! At the time I took the picture, I wasn't aware that man was looking my way. Oops! On the left of the crushed glass is the restaurant half. This picture shows the bar half of the restaurant. It is actually a rather small restaurant. However, the atmosphere is quite charming, unique, interesting, etc. I'm sure if a person who doesn't know me well would have thought it was very odd that I was continually looking around the restaurant drinking in the decor.

Check out this bathroom!! How cool is this sink? You have to press that pokey stick thingie--either up or down, I don't remember--and the water flows out in a modern art waterfall-ish way.

Well, this picture is sideways. The plates sit horizontally when you are eating off of them. I wish I'd remembered to take a photo when the plate was still full of food. Alas! I forgot! Y'all have to imagine a taco and a chicken flauta and some pico de gallo and some avocado chunks. Everything was tasty. I chose the Nonita plate which y'all may remember from a blog I wrote a few months ago(which you can find here). Next time, however, I'm going to try something else. I didn't really look at the menu cos I wanted to try the plate named after my aunt. However, the website (found here). The website has a tab for the menu, the locations, catering info and contact info.

Here are two pictures of Aunt Nona's favorite El Toro manager. There are two of them: Kevin and Devin (I think). This one is Kevin. He is very helpful and friendly. In case you're wondering, I'm saying all these nice things about him as a bribe, of sorts. I know he will read this blog and I want him to keep taking care of my aunt. ;-P I'm kidding, of course. I imagine he'd continue to take care of her even if I didn't say nice things about him.

So, just in case you're wondering--I recommend it. I enjoyed myself. The food was good. The company was good. (Thanks for lunch, Aunt Nona) and the manager came over to our table especially. He seems to really like my aunt. They seem to know things about each other's lives and I really think it is cool that he "created" a dish just for Aunt Nona and named it after her. In case you haven't heard that story, click here for the whole exciting tale.

Go y'all! Tell Kevin I sent ya. Maybe he'll give me a free meal next time I
visit. ;-P

Simple Woman's Daybook: 28NOV10

Outside my window...is a slowly darkening sky.
I am thinking...about what I need to get done on Tuesday--my next day off.
I am thankful for...the relaxing holiday I just had with my aunt.
From the learning rooms...from Time Magazine I'm learning--and sadly, I'm not surprised--that people think that they can teach our fat insulin receptors to act in a way which is opposite of the way that God designed them to do. Why do people think they're smarter than God?
From the kitchen...egg nog! I love the Christmas Season! and I love egg nog! :)
I am wearing...green camp shirt, warm grey fleece pants and a pair of smart socks.
I am creating...nothing is on the horizon. I don't think blogs count.
I am going...to try to finish wrapping all the presents so I can get them in the mail on Tuesday.
I am reading...The Special Time Frames Issue: What really happened 2000-2010.
I am hoping...that this headache will go away.
I am hearing...tinnitis ringing in my ears--again.
Around the house...Pop and I are watching 'Ugly Betty'.
One of my favorite things...when a man flirts with me like I "still got it!"
A few plans for the rest of the week: weekly letters, present wrapping, guitar practice, and maybe writing a short piece about Daddy.

Family Ties

I went on an errand to Randall's last Thanksgiving afternoon. On my way back to Aunt Nona's house, I passed a park where these kids were playing football. I suddenly remembered the way that I and my siblings and cousins used to play games in the street after thanksgiving dinner when we were all young.
We lived on a sleepy street. We didn't get much traffic so it was easy to play without having to worry about getting run over by cars. I had completely forgotten how we used to do the same thing these kids were doing Thursday. Now, those of us who used to play at our house range from 37 to 48 so we don't really play games after dinner anymore. Mostly we nap, watch old Law and Order episodes or something on HGN.
Part of me misses those fun and cold, athletic afternoons. Of course, another very large part of me doesn't miss them at all. Naps are good after all, yeah?


Aunt Nona, hostess of our wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Mark Taylor's girls! Aren't they beautiful! :)

Me with my Taylor cousins.

Wayne, sleeping after lunch.

Blurry Taylors!

Autumn Leaves

Autumn leaves on the parking lot at the CVS in Silsbee.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I had what seemed like a TON of things to do yesterday on my day off. And surprisingly--since I made a list--I got them all done! Yay! I got all the Christmas presents purchased, except some candy for Alan and print a photo to put into a frame (which I bought yesterday.) I do still have to make a few pieces of jewelry, but those I can do at home thereby STAYING AWAY from anything even closely resembing Dowlen Road in Beaumont until--hopefully--December 26th. :)
Anyway, after finishing all the shopping and visiting Jean, I headed back northward toward my guitar lessons and--ultimately--home.
I hadn't eaten since 9 a.m., I stopped at the Whataburger in Lumberton to eat, write my weekly letters and do a bit of reading. Of course, I didn't get all that done cos I made a friend of a stranger. We talked about many things, one of which was playing the guitar. He has been playing for quite a while. I was quite surprised when he went out to his car and came back in carrying several guitar books which he handed to me. Wow! How rockin' cool! One of them was a really good resource book which shows how to play every single chord known to man (at least it looked like it. There were pages and pages and pages full of chords.)
I thought he was extremely kind to give me those guitar books. People can be really great sometimes. Really great. and p.s. how cool are the decorations they put up there?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Mellow Yellow--taken today

So, I was out watering the garden this afternoon when I noticed that the pepper plant--which had the intense red peppers a few months ago--has some new yellow peppers! It is growing and thriving in a much better fashion than the ones I transplanted earlier in the summer.
Don't forget to check out Irene's Mellow Yellow, too.

Red Bell Pepper Hummus

Dear Lana,
I tried out a hummus recipe today. It turned out pretty well. Not quite as tasty as the stuff we had at Jason's, but not bad. Have you tried out any of the ones I sent you?
Here is the recipe:

Red Bell Pepper Hummus

-1 15 to 16-ounce can of garbanzo beans
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 medium red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch pieces
-1 tablespoon tahini
-1 fresh squeezed lime
-1 1/2 tablespoon water
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 teaspoon cumin
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne
-1/4 cup fresh basil

Okay, here are a few caveats, though. I didn't have any lime. I used a lemon. I also didn't have garlic powder. I cut up two large garlic cloves into chunks and threw them into the food processor along with the rest. I used a little bit less than 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Upon eating it, I found that a little less garlic was perfect. Additionally, I had no fresh basil, so I added nothing in its place. I guess I should have tried something from my garden. Ahhh well, next time.
Okay, so throw all everything in the blender and blend until smooth. It is actually a very simple recipe and it doesn't take much time to make--maybe a total of 15 minutes. I imagine you could store it and snack on it all week with your carrots and celery. It strikes me as a good snack (along with the veggies) for a diabetic or someone who is striving to lose weight by eating well (and tasty) snacks for mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
I read a few of the reviews on this recipe and many of them said that they left off the water because they thought it'd be too watery. It could be true. Just thought I'd mention it.

Charles and Wanda's 50th Anniversary Party

Barbara Burns

Myra and Mikayla--best friends :)

Raymond MacDonald

Charles and Wanda being silly in some fun glasses.

Pretty decorations at the wedding anniversary.

The Silsbee Whitehead family minus the Momma.

Myra and Mikayla again!

Charles and Wanda eating cake--50 years later. It is funny how the picture came out with those large blocks of light.

They really went all out on decorations and food. Yummy!

Wanda and Mikayla

Michelle taking pictures of people at the reception.

Myra and I at the reception.


A shot of Charles and Wanda sipping on some sparkling grape juice.

One of the Shaver's grandkids. Christy's oldest kid.

The youngest grandson of Christy, one of Charles and Wanda's daughters.

All of Charles and Wanda's direct descendents.

Tony and Mary :)

John and Virginia!

Dianne, Michelle, and Dianne's grandma. Dianne plays volleyball with Chelsea, Michelle's daughter.

Wanda Pender and one of Charles' nieces.

Mellow Yellow Monday 22NOV10

mellow yellow is brought to you cos I saw it on Irene's blog and decided to copy her.
These flowers are growing in Uncle Doug's garden in Denver.

Harry Potter Night

I've been to every Harry Potter film since the 4th one (I think). I'm used to a certain kind of atmosphere in the air. I usually get to the theatre and there are already lines of people standing or sitting, waiting to be admitted to the theatre. Thankfully, I've always been early enough to get a pretty decent seat. Usually, there are people dressed up in costume. I normally wear my black shoes, blue knee socks, green, blue, and red plaid skirt, long sleeve white button down, blue sleeveless v-neck knitted sweater, and Gryffindor tie. My skirt hasn't been fitting lately so I wore jeans instead of the skirt and pink penguin socks instead of the blue knees socks.
What is crazy is that I was first in line! And I didn't even get there until 10:00. I was amazed. I had presumed that there would be a ton of people in costumes of whom I could take pictures. As you can see from the following photos, there were not. I took the most interesting pictures I could considering what I was given!
Additionally, I liked the movie. It was good, but it wasn't REALLY GREAT like they usually are. I wonder if that had something to do with the lack of excitement in the air because of the lack of lines and costumes and friends being together talking of the book. It was almost as if a Dementor was hanging out in the back alley of the theatre and making things a little less exciting and happy as the previous movies had been. Hmmmmmmmmm. Something to think about, yeah?

This is a snap of part of the HP7 film. It looked so cool. They used an animated scene to illustrate the story of the three brothers and the three deathly hallows.

A member of the theatre staff helping put up the Christmas Tree.

The whole theatre staff in front of the tree.

A friend I made whilst waiting for the film to start. He and his sister were the first ones to arrive at the theatre, after me. We sat in the back row of the theatre for nearly a half hour before people started coming.

Robert helped me scan my old photos at Walmart. We had a nice conversation.