Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Luckenbach, Texas: Where Everybody is Somebody

"Let's go to Luckenbach, Texas, Waylon and Willie, and the boys..."  

Have you ever heard those song lyrics? Luckenbach, Texas was written by Waylon Jennings back in 1977.  I know many of you weren't even alive then, but I was in college. I was (and still am) a country music fan, and saw Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson perform way back when.

Hubby and I posing like tourists.
 Now after all these years, I finally got to see Luckenbach. While visiting our oldest son and his wife in San Antonio, we stopped in Luckenbach to check it out.

The newlyweds have been married 3 months. Yes, he is thinking "How many pictures does Mom have to take?"
 Back in the 1970's the town wasn't even on the map, now it's a popular tourist attraction about an hour north of  San Antonio. There's not a whole lot here, but you can get a cold beer, sit under the shade trees, and listen to some great music.

Emory Quinn, an amazing band and all Aggies!
Luckenbach was established way back in 1849 by German immigrants. The town was purchased by Hondo Crouch in 1970, and he invited various country singers to become honorary citizens. Hondo has since passed away, but Texas country singers continue to perform here. 

Everyone is enjoying the band and the beverages despite the summer heat.
You can hear country music everyday of the week. Some shows are free, and some cost a few bucks.

Restrooms have no doors, just curtains in the ladies room. You're not shy after drinking a beer or two.
 After a flood in 2002, which washed away the blacksmith shop and the cotton gin, the town now consists of a general store, a grill, a dance hall, a hat store, an outdoor stage, and a couple of outdoor bars. The 100 year old dance hall is perfect for a Texas-sized wedding and reception.

Longhorn with a saddle. Only in Texas!
 Check out the Luckenbach website for all the history, rental information, upcoming performances, and ticket sales.

Chicken doing the two-step!
I have no connection with Luckenbach, it's owners, citizens, vendors, or musicians. I just wanted to share this information.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Grilling: Beef Tenderloin

When I grill beef, it's usually hamburgers or steak. I decided to splurge the other day and buy beef tenderloin. Grilling it was super easy, and it didn't heat up the kitchen making it perfect for a summer dinner. It was so tender, you could literally cut it with a fork. No steak knives needed. Now, I probably wouldn't make this for an ordinary family dinner, but it's perfect for a special occasion.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pallet Projects

I have a couple of pallets, and I want to make something with them. Actually the pallets have special meaning to me. I know, sounds kind of weird.

You see the pallets came from a machine shop my father owned. This man was amazing! Despite having only an eighth grade education, he became an airplane mechanic during WWII, a master watchmaker with his own jewelry store, and then he started a machine shop. He even had a few patents and became quite proficient with computers. Oh yea, he also raised orchids during the last few years of his life, before Alzheimer's. I should write a book or least a post or two about his life in the future.

Anyway, back to the pallets. I know there are quite a few projects on blogs and on Pinterest. I even have a pallet project board. Here is a roundup of my favorites. I tried to find the original source on these, but sometimes I was not successful.

I love this vertical pallet garden from Life on the Balcony, but I don't know where I would put it, and I already have enough plants to water.

This is a great potting bench (or outdoor bar) from The Design Pallet, but I already have a potting bench on the back porch.

I like the design of this table I found for sale on Etsy by EmersonStudios, but I don't really need a patio table.

This coffee table from The Dawg's Dish is cool. I do need a new coffee table, but I don't think I want it quite this rustic.

I do like this white coffee table. Something like this is a possibility, maybe with glass on the top.

I still need a headboard in our guest bedroom. One like this stained one from Tommy and Ellie is a possibility.

Maybe I could make a simple shelf, but I'm not sure where I would put it.

Here are more shelves that I like, and they would be easy to make. I could add some shelves in the laundry room.

 Megan of Megan Brooke Handmade made this nifty necklace holder. I love the different knobs. This gives me the idea of making a coat rack, or since we don't often wear coats, it would be a purse/shopping bag holder.

There have been a few articles lately about the safety of using pallets in the home because of chemicals, bacteria, and dirt in general. I don't really have a problem using reclaimed wood, as long as I clean it first, do a little sanding (wearing a mask), and maybe seal it before bringing it in the home. Now as for making cutting boards (some people do!)  from pallet wood, I think that's kind of crazy.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Homes of Texas:Henderson {My favorite one!}

 In my last Homes of Texas post, I shared some of the beautiful homes in Henderson, Texas. One of these homes really appealed to me, so I took quite a few photos. This is a home I would buy if Hubby ever retires.

 From the landscaping to the red and white awnings and black shutters, this house has curb appeal.

A red front door and an American flag welcome visitors.

The red swing, the white rockers, and the Boston ferns are perfect on this shady porch.

 The color of the sweet potato vine is so vibrant. Of course, I always love a star.

This garage is plenty big for the pickup truck and tractor. Barn red, too!

The side yard is decorated with an old bicycle, a bird bath, and a wagon wheel. I love the wrought iron gate and archway.

More wagon wheels and a plow found a home in this flower bed. 

I spotted another bicycle and even a chair. So many wonderful treasures make it hard to see everything with one glance.

Do you want to paint your front door red? Do you have any treasures to add character to your flower beds?
Go for it! Make your home unique. Make it yours. 

 Linked to:

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Grilling: Maple-Glazed Pineapple

Can you believe that summer is half over? It always goes by too quickly! I hope you're enjoying your summer, and that you've found time to do some grilling.

During my weekly grocery shopping trip, I was enticed to buy  a fresh pineapple by the display near the front door.  Since I was grilling chicken for dinner, I decided to grill the pineapple, also. Grilled pineapple is always delicious, but with this glaze it's irresistible. Kind of like the pineapple display in the grocery store.

If you don't know how to cut up a fresh pineapple, BlogHer TV has an easy-to-follow video. Just run your cursor over the top left corner of this post. A pop-up window will appear in a couple seconds. Choose the "How to Cut Pineapple" video.

Maple-Glazed Pineapple

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1 ripe pineapple

Clean the grill rack, spray with a nonstick spray, and heat the grill to medium. 
Combine the syrup, cinnamon, and rum extract; set aside.
 To prepare the pineapple, using a sharp chef's knife, slice off the crown and the bottom of the pineapple. Place the pineapple upright on a cutting board and slice off the outer skin. With a sharp paring knife, remove the "eyes." Halve the pineapple lengthwise. Cut away and discard the core.

You can grill the halves, or if desired, cut the halves into 3 pieces or into thick slices. Brush the pineapple with the syrup mixture.

Place the pineapple on the grill rack and grill, turning frequently with tongs and basting often with the syrup mixture, until the pineapple is glazed and lightly browned, 35-45 minutes. Remove pineapple from grill. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy the pineapple as a side dish with ham or chicken. For dessert, try it with a scoop of lemon or mango sorbet.

Printable version

If you missed any of the Grilling Series, here are the recipes.
Week 2: Pizza
Week 3: Bananas
Week 5: Summer Squash
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Homes of Texas:Henderson

It's been quite a while since my last Homes of Texas post, and since Hubby and I were attending a family reunion in Henderson, Texas, I thought we would do a little exploring. After lots of  hugging, visiting, and eating, we took some time to wander around town. I love finding such beautiful homes in tiny Texas towns. I thought  I would share a few of these wonderful homes.

 The black and white against the red brick is so classic. Not to mention the porte cochere!

The landscaping is perfect for this beautiful home.  I love all the white caladiums!

  What a grand southern home! Check out the breezeway between the house and the garage.

  Oh, I wish the door was painted black. Would it be rude to tell the owners?

 Another amazing home with an American flag proudly waving in the breeze.

  This house remind me of the days when neighbors sat outside and visited each other on their front porches.

   The landscaping is what caught my eye. I love the way they used different colors of sweet potato vines.

The wreath is perfect. It looks like it contains the same colors as the flowers and plants. I wonder if that was intentional or a happy coincidence.

 Of course, I love stars displayed on homes. After all, this is the Lone Star state!

  Another porch ready for visitors to share a glass of sweet tea.

 This home so inviting. Don't you want to walk up that sidewalk and knock on the door?

  I thought this was an unusual color, but it works with the red caladiums.

This was my favorite home in Henderson, Texas. You'll see why in a post next week. Don't miss it!

Check out my other Homes of Texas posts.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Grilling: Slammin' Salmon

It's raining, and it's been raining all week. I know that after the drought last summer, we need this rain, but rain really interferes with grilling! I'm not going to stand outside holding an umbrella so I can grill. It's easier just to eat a sandwich or go out to eat.

For those of you who are having good weather this summer or have a neat indoor grill, here's another great grilling recipe. I first posted this last year, when Texas Cottage was only a month old. Since I have so many more readers now, I thought you might like seeing it. The original recipe is from Allrecipes.com. It's really good!

Slammin' Salmon

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup peanut oil
8 (4 oz) skinless, boneless salmon fillets

Stir balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and soy sauce with salt, brown sugar, ground ginger, paprika, black pepper, and red pepper flakes until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Stir in garlic, green onions, and oil until well combined.

Pour marinade into a resealable plastic bag or glass bowl. Add salmon to marinade and gently toss to coat. Place into refrigerator and marinate 2 to 24 hours.

Prepare an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Before lighting, spray the grill with Pam Grilling spray or brush with oil. Drain excess marinade from salmon fillets. 

Grill until firm and opaque, about 6 minutes per side. Makes 4 servings. I usually serve salmon with a brown rice pilaf and either fresh broccoli or green beans.

Here are the other Summer Grilling posts:

Week 2: Pizza
Week 3: Bananas
Week 5: Summer Squash  
What is your favorite food to grill during the summer?

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