Funk be gone.

Not sure why, but I’m in¬†a blogging funk. Not a cooking funk, mind you, just blogging. To ease it, I took myself on a nature date, which is funny because I’m a consummate city girl. But since Spring is springing, I thought I’d go on¬†a hunt for bluebonnets.

Bluebonnets are Texas’ state flower and they are as elusive as they are¬†beautiful. I think Houston’s weather is too wacky to allow them to be in bloom for a reasonable amount of time, so when you hear word that they’re springing, you have to act fast. And act I did.

After a quick search for the best spots, I grabbed my camera and hit the road towards Burton, TX. Traffic was mercifully light, but there were lots of people pulling up on the side of the road, babies and toddlers dressed up and sitting amidst the blooms. Dangerous practice and an illegal one, but heck, TX is cowboy land.

I found Burton after taking a few scenic detours and was tickled by the quaint little town.

Standing in the blaring sun I found myself thinking how cute it would be to live in a town like it. Of course, I quickly came back to city girl reality and mocked myself.

I saw cute store fronts.

An old railway station.

Beautiful classics.


lots of bluebonnets.

And wildflowers.

Nature’s own Monet painting.

On a sidenote, someone REALLY should’ve mentioned the inordinate amount of bugs that hang out with the pretty flowers. I’m amazed my shots were steady.


If you liked these pictures, go to my photostream, there are LOTS more.

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?



Tee hee

This crazy blogosphere is a groovy trip. Not in the same realm as the trips induced by various psychotropic mind enhancers, not that I would¬†know about that, but a groovy trip nonetheless. I’m still befuddled by the thought that this is such a NEW phenomenon.

Seriously. I don’t remember life BWWW, but I know I was a legal adult when it got started. Nothing seems to¬† happen without web intervention or, at the very least, web discussion. Pretty awesome, I say.

Anyway, thanks to the web and its blogs I’ve made some really cool friends. A new version of friends. A sorta Friend App type of friends. Bloggy friends. Haven’t met them face to face, but I feel like I’m in their living rooms, kitchens and offices almost every day. I laugh with them, learn from them, feel their joy and pain in the same way I do with, you know, my old version of friends.

All of this just to say I got the cutest, silliest, most giggle-inducing, dorky email this morning. It was from B over at Shutterboo, she hosts the Weekly Photo Challenge I’ve neglected for the last 2 weeks. I love this chick. She’s funny, she’s smart, she’s a smartass and she loves dogs. And photography. And food. And she’s oh so talented!

Anyway, the subject line read: I’m going to make a fool of myself… I liked the message already. Anyone doing foolish things and including me in said activities, even if after the fact, gets my undivided attention. Here’s what she wrote:

But I have to tell you, Anamaris.¬† Note I’m a complete dork.¬† Dork is my middle name.

Your blog name, Chef Yourself… every time I see it/read it/talk about it/you get the drift, I always hear the song “owner of a lonely heart”.¬† The singer starts out verses with things like move yourself/lose yourself/see yourself/prove yourself and sings them very staccato.¬† And I do that with your blog name.¬† Occasionally, I go a step further… “Chef Yourself, you always live your life…”¬† I know.¬† Dork dork dork.¬† But I had to tell you.¬† I don’t know why.¬† I’m just tired of laughing at myself and need someone else to laugh at me. ūüôā

Have a great day!

How sweet is that?!!! Even better that I knew the song and love it! I say that because, well, I don’t know all the songs (story for a different day). The email exchange continued and went downhill once I became involved. Something about me hating on her ‘cuz she’s like 12 and how could she have any memory of the 80s.

Then she insisted how she totally loves 80s music (ok,¬†who doesn’t?!). But she took it too far.
She called dibs on Bon Jovi.

and I lost it.

I don’t care how cute and sweet and smart and talented and dog-loving she is. Or that she totally made my day with this very¬†sweet, funny,¬†dorky email.

He’s mine. She can’t have him.

She’s a kid! She was just born like day before yesterday, which means I saw him first!
ohdear. I’m such an ingrate. Bad Anamaris.

About the wintry blahs

I know I can’t compare Houston’s cool temps with what some of you have to deal with, but I find myself in love with winter and its antics.

See, I grew up in a Tropical wonderland, all full of green lushness and heat. Vegetation, full trees, mountains, these are things that become commonplace when you see them on a daily basis.

You forget that you’re looking at several shades of green:

Or that a backdrop like this one isn’t unusual.

I guess it makes sense I would be impressed by the exact opposite. Thus, I found myself falling in love with fall and its beautiful colors.

or with winter and its inherent lack thereof

When I moved stateside, the thing I wished for the most was to experience the seasons I had long fantasized about. At the time I didn’t realize Houston would turn out to be a pretty close extension to Panama’s weather. Except there are no lush green mountains, not much lush greeness at all.

So, when we do get hit by Old Man Winter and the temperatures dip into the 30s and there’s frost on the cars when the sun comes up. Or when I have to wear a jacket to go to the mailbox and when the trees are naked and gray, I smile. I giggle. I do a little happy cold dance.

Stay warm.

Fresh, fresh, baby

I wanted to shake things up a bit, get my ole¬†routine a little kick. So my good friend Anni offered to be¬†my guide for the day. She took me to the farmers market where we sampled local cheeses, gelato and tarragon soup. We spied cute pictures of goats, precocious little girls and hotties! Mind you, I’m a married woman, but I’m not a blind woman. At least not while wearing my contacts, which I was.

I have a few single friends and I had to let them know to grab their recyclable bags and head out to the farmers market. These boys are a) employed, b) motivated and c) cute! What else can you wish for? Fresh produce delivered by a hunky boy, now that’s what I call making use of local resources.

PS: Have you ever heard of a fruit tree called Buddha’s Hands?