Monday, May 26, 2014

Time for Tacos

Mr. French and I just LOVE food trucks. Unfortunately there aren't any trucks down in our neck of the woods (anymore) but luckily San Jose isn't too far away and at least once a year we get to travel up for the Taco Festival of Innovation. Isn't that a mouthful of a name?

This lovely gathering of 40 or so local food trucks has been going on for 3 years now and we've been every single year. Each year they get a little more organized and the entry into the festival is a bit smoother. The meeting planner in me winces each year when they don't have enough signs or people at the entrance but at least this year they started processing pre-sales early and gave us all wristbands so that we could stampede  walk like ladies and gentlemen into the fairgrounds at the rope-drop with no delays like we've experienced the last two years.

Once inside you're overwhelmed by the sheer number of trucks.

There is variety as well. Even though this is called a "taco festival" there are many cuisines represented - Mexican (naturally), Korean, Japanese, Middle Eastern, traditional BBQ, Hawaiian and Indian are just some of them. Each truck offers their own unique cuisine in the form of a taco so that it's easy to eat and affordable. All menu items are under $5 so that you can sample from multiple trucks. That's our favorite part of this particular festival.

Some of our favorite tacos include pork belly, falafel and kahlua pork with bacon jam. I'm especially fond of the bacon jam!

But if I'm going to be perfectly honest, the tacos are not my main objective. They could take away all the taco trucks and I'd still make the drive up there for this

Fairycakes are little bits of heaven! I discovered them at the first Taco Festival and fell in love. I've been thrilled that they have attended every year. I hope they never stop. They are the best cupcakes I've ever eaten...and I've eaten a lot so I know what I'm talking about. They have a huge variety of flavors and they are always coming up with new ones.

The last two years we've just bought one cupcake each to eat at the festival. This year we got smart (it was bound to happen eventually) and brought home a box of six...ok, technically only 4 made it home. We tried salted caramel, maple bacon, turtle cheesecake and Boston cream pie.

My favorite was maple bacon...or maybe salted caramel...possibly Boston cream pie...although you can't count turtle cheesecake out of the running. ;-)

I can't wait to go again next year!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Prairie angel

There was much delight and joy around Jasper's Cottage this weekend. First of all, little Shifu Peanut is feeling much better after his operation and the ear is healing nicely. It's still a little crumpled, it usually stands straight up, but we hope it will be back to normal soon.

Another source of joy - the mailman brought me a very special present on Saturday. Remember how I mentioned that I missed out on the first issue of Prairie Style magazine a couple of years ago? Well, if you don't remember you can read all about it here. Anyway, someone wonderful and special and amazing read that blog post and just happened to have a few extra copies of the premiere issue sitting around her cottage and voila, she sent one to me. She's definitely my prairie angel and I thank her for not only sending the magazine (which I LOVE, btw) but for also being so sweet and encouraging through our email exchange last week. I definitely have a goal to get Jasper's Cottage "magazine ready" this year.

And that leads me to another joyful event that took place over the weekend - I finally got to go shopping for a few "pretties" for the cottage. There's been a loooooong dry spell on the shopping front this year so it was nice to be able to get a couple of things I'd had my eye on before they disappeared from the stores.

Do you recognize the blue floral basket that I drooled over 2 months ago in Target? It's mine now! Mr. French came along on the shopping trip because he needed to pick up a few things to redo our shower. Normally I kind of like shopping alone but this time it was ok that he was there because he insisted that I get the larger white floral basket as well. I said no at first but then I let him talk me into it. ;-) I also got a new comforter which looks great on our bed, not that you're going to see any pictures of the bedroom anytime soon. It's not blog ready to say nothing of being magazine ready. I've got a lot of work to do.

But you can catch a little glimpse of the beautiful new comforter as the background in this picture of the elusive premiere issue of Prairie Style from 2012. I'm so glad to have it, there are many gorgeous houses in there. My favorite house in the magazine is also featured on this blog - Dreamy Whites.

Here's my beloved blue floral basket being put to good use. I have so many "inspiration" decorating magazines and books, I may need a third least that's the excuse that works for me!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Shifu's No Good, Very Bad Day

We’re having a “heat wave” here which means that we’ve had 4 days of temperatures in the  high 80s (even a 90 or two) which is just a normal week in Florida, I know, but here in the land of no air conditioning, it’s getting a little stuffy inside most homes and businesses. We’ve definitely broken out the fan at home. We only have one and it mostly sits unused in the garage all year but it’s a lifesaver when the weather is like this. It’s supposed to cool off starting tomorrow and be back to 60s by the weekend. 

We had the tumor on Shifu’s ear removed surgically today. We removed the first one last June (and learned it was a form of cancer) and we all hoped it wouldn’t re-grow but it did and this week we decided to go ahead and remove it again. Because of his heart condition, we worry anytime he has to go under anesthesia, but he came through the operation just fine. It was an outpatient procedure so he went in in the morning and out the same afternoon. He’s home now and kind of miserable because his ear feels funny but he doesn’t seem to be in pain. He is very vocal about how miserable he is, however. He tries to lay one way and it doesn't feel right so he grumbles and changes position and that isn't good either so there's more grumbling. It would be funny if it weren't so hard to watch him be so uncomfortable. We have to keep him from shaking his head for the next few days and from scratching the ear for the next 2 weeks until we go back to get the stitches out. His misery isn't keeping him from eating and being interested in food tonight. I think not getting any breakfast this morning (no food after 8pm last night) bothered him just as much as the actual operation. It bothered us a little last night because it meant we couldn't snack...yes, we're those bad dog parents that share with our baby. In our defense, he is the perfect weight. The fact that we're not is entirely beside the point.

We could do chemo and prednisone to try to keep the tumor from re-growing but those have such awful side effects that we are reluctant to put him through that. The doctor tried very hard to remove every single bit of the tumor this time so we’ll just watch and see. I just know that I'm very, very happy to have my little boy home. It's been a long week, worrying about the operation and getting ready for a major work event on Sunday, I think I see a really long nap and maybe a little retail therapy in my future. There's a Simply Shabby Chic basket at Target that's calling my name.