April 30, 2010

Things That Make Me Giggle...

Because I'm short AND I love Tacos :)

Happy Friday!

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You make me feel pretty
2 - You do a little dance with me when you get home
3 - You make me giggle
4 - You bought us a case of Two Buck Chuck
5 - You gave Dexter a shot and now you love the show

April 26, 2010

Copy Cat: Endive Salad


This past Easter, due to a bunch of crazy scheduling conflicts (mostly my fault), Hubs and I ended up with my parent’s dinner reservation at a local French restaurant, Savoie's Fare. They had a set three course Champagne Dinner that included a salad, main dish and dessert.

Hubs ordered the Endive Salad for first course and fell in LOVE! He's asked a couple times since if I thought it was something we could easily recreate, so I broke down and made it this weekend when my family came over for dinner.

Here is the salad description from Savoie's Fare's Menu


And here’s how I made it…

(Click recipe to enlarge)


I’m not gonna lie, Hubs said my version was just as good or better than the restaurant salad! And he doesn’t lie about these things.

Have you ever recreated a meal from a Restaurant? Did it taste the same or better than the original?

April 23, 2010

I like it “Alot”!

So, I found a new website guys and it.is.HILARIOUS! I don’t know much about Allie Brosh other than she cracks me up! Her website is called Hyperbole and A Half and basically she tells funny stories about her life or observations with pictures.

One of my favorite post so far is The Alot is Better Than You at Everything. I’m sure you’ve noticed reading my blog I’m not best with grammar and spelling, but she’s making fun of people more stupid than me. She has created a creature called the “Alot” as a coping mechanism for dealing people around the internet that think a lot is one word.

alot Allie says,

“The Alot is an imaginary creature that I made up to help me deal with my compulsive need to correct other people's grammar. It kind of looks like a cross between a bear, a yak and a pug, and it has provided hours of entertainment for me in a situation where I'd normally be left feeling angry and disillusioned with the world.”

Example: When someone says, “I care about this alot.” Instead a being all “Idiot, a lot is two words!” Just imagine he/she cares about that Alot.


There are a bunch of other hilarious examples on her blog! So, if you need a good laugh I would head over there, like now, and read it all up.

Update: This made me laugh so hard I had tears in my eyes! It's pretty much how I feel everything I go to Cooking Light's website...

**All drawings in the post are by Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You bought us salmon for dinner last night
2 - You check the calorie content of the food you eat and buy for us
3 - You give me kisses on my head
4 - You always pour me a little more wine than you pour yourself
5 - You love pie

April 22, 2010

Newly Decorated Nest

For those of you who don't read this blog entirely through your Reader, you've probably noticed the obvious (and awesome) changes to His Birdie's Nest.

The very talented Joy from How Joyful, also known as Mrs Poodle from Weddingbee, redesigned my blog for me in like two days.

I gave her an idea of what I wanted and she ran with it... even put up with my indecision on the colors. I'm a pain.

There are a few things I need to add like the link to my favorite blog and the link to my Etsy shop. No, you haven't missed anything, I haven't opened and Etsy shop, yet. However, if you're itching to check out a cute Etsy shop, check out Joy's here. (It's closed right now for her honeymoon, but she makes the cutest hair flowers and head bands).

For those of you that do read this blog through your reader, hop over and check out the new design and say, "hi!"

April 21, 2010

I Want, I Need, I Have to Have: "I can write a blog, I have thoughts"

I've been having one of those blogging weeks were I can't really think of anything to say. I start back at school in like two weeks and I won't be able to post as much when it get really busy. I'm so bummed I can't think of a thing to blog about. Blogger = FAIL!

I saw this giveaway on Live Creating Yourself and I found it very fitting, you know since right now I have no "thoughts". She is giving away one of these prints from her Etsy shop LCY graphics, to three readers. (Please pick me, please pick me).
The quote is, of course, from the movie Julie and Julia...

If you don't want to watch the whole trailer, you can see Amy Adams' line about 0:55 into the trailer.

I want one. I NEED one. I have to have it! But what color?

Come on, thoughts, I wanna blog!

April 19, 2010

Personal Spinach Pesto Pizzas

A couple weeks ago, when Butternut Squash Lasagna, I WAY over bought the spinach. Like we've made the recipe twice now and I still have too much spinach. I know pesto can be frozen really well and I didn't want to waste any spinach, so I decided to make some spinach pesto.

The Hubs and I are pretty pick when it comes to the thickness of our pizza crust. I like thin and he likes thick. We attempted to make our own pizza with the pre-made dough from Trader Joe's but we weren't happy with the way the crust turned out... probably due to lack of patience on our parts, but I found a tastier alternative - Sourdough English Muffins (also from Trader Joe's).

How do you make them? First make the pesto...

Spinach Pesto
adapted from this on the simple me

3 cups of raw spinach, packed tight
1/2 cup raw walnuts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp honey
fresh ground salt & pepper, to taste

1 - In a food processor, combine nuts, cheese, garlic & honey. Pulse until they make a paste.
2 - Add spinach, pulse a few times.
3 - Add basil, pulse a few times.
4 - Slowly add olive oil until it’s a creamy consistency – but small chunks of spinach are fine.
5 - Add salt & pepper to taste.

Next make the pizza...

Personal Spinach Pesto Pizzas
by Ali at Hisbirdie's Nest

Spinach Pesto
Sourdough English Muffins
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
Sliced Tomato


April 17, 2010

Frenchie Kisses: The Birdie Details

After our First Dance (P.S. there’s a video here, if you missed it) we sat down and went straight into the speeches. However, I want to show you the details first.

You may, or may not, remember our wedding had a birdie theme. Mr Frenchie was really nervous, once the themed started taking shape, that our wedding would have too many birds. (Is there such a thing?) I really tried not to go crazy, while Mama Frenchie kept finding more and more birdie things to add. I think we accomplished a nice balance of birdies.

Mama Frenchie found these birds at the last minute to jazz up our cocktail tables…

We had complete forgot that our cocktail area would have a few ‘belly bars’ scattered around. Two weeks before the wedding, when we remembered the tables, we were at the end of our DIY rope and couldn’t come up with a single creative thing to do with them. On a trip to Micheal’s, Mama Frenchie found these right after we’d decided to just leave the tables bear. It’s funny how a last minute addition can be such a hit. Here is one of the last things we added (those birds) with one of the first things we added, David Patrone.

Mama and Sister Frenchie worked their booties off executing all my birdie dreams.

Mama Frenchie found the cutest scrapbook papers at Tall Mouse, made templates and pretty much executed all the DIY goodness.

With only a week between finals and the wedding I relied a lot on my Mom and Sister to get all the DIY goodness done, and they ROCKED IT!

As you can see, we named each table after a bird. Some of the birds ‘matched’ the guests they were seated with, like the Oriole table for all my family from Baltimore, MD and the Penguin table for Sister Frenchie (she loves penguins). While others were locals birds or birds with names that fit on the wing. We also numbered the tables to make it easier for the guests (especially the elderly ones) to find.

When the guest’s found their table, we (or my DOC) had already laid out everyone’s place card. We color coded their names with their meal choice. Super original, I know! ;-)

Each place card had a Shrinky Dink birdie and was backed with the left-over envelope liners from our invitations.

There were a few other birds scattered around. Mama Frenchie found this white wooden bird cage, by pure luck, at a local vintage store and we used it as our ‘card box’. What’s a bird cage without a bird? We had to add a feathered friend to the top.

The extremely generous Mrs Gummi Bear, let us borrow her Ann Wood birds.

Mama Frenchie came through again a found this adorable nest for them to rest in. The nest sit atop a metal rod that she stuck in a pot of daisies, my favorite.

And last, but not least, the detail that started the Birdie theme, our cake topper!

We bought this topper before I’d chosen my dress, before Mr Frenchie bought his suit and LONG before Mrs Sea Breeze made my veil. It now sits in our china cabinet and every time I see it, I smile at how much it looks like we did that day.

Does your wedding have an obvious theme? or are you a little more subtle than we were?

So Far...We're Here and We're Married

***Note: All photos, unless otherwise noted, are by the fabulously talented, and super awesome to know, Ohana Photographers***

April 16, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You complain more than anyone I know, when you're sick
2 - You get over being sick faster than anyone I know
3 - You found jeans with longhorns on the pockets

4 - You like things with longhorns
5 - You're very ticklish

April 13, 2010

Adventures in Dining Out: Veggie Grill

I think it was a few months ago I read about this restaurant called the Veggie Grill opening at the Irvine Spectrum. It sounded a lot like Native Foods, a Organic Vegan chain my sister and I really like in Aliso Viejo and I knew immediately I could talk her into eating there with me. Not that the Hubs wouldn't, I just knew Jen would be all over it.

Well, all over it she was, and today we went to the one near UCI for lunch.

According to their Facebook page:

"...we are very proud of the fact that our menu is 100% plant-based with absolutely no cholesterol, animal fat, trans fat or high-fructose corn syrup. Numerous studies have shown that eating 100% plant-based foods is the best way to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and to maintain a healthy weight."

The menu is entirely vegetarian, but to be honestly I couldn't say with absolute certainty that itis complete vegan as well. However, I know that several of the menu options are vegan. They even have a gluten free menu.

I teetered back and forth between Papa's Portobello and the Chop Chop Chef salad...

I decided on the Chop Chop Chef because it included both the 'chicken' and the 'steak'...

Jen went back and forth on a couple different salads and chose the All Hail Kale (without walnuts because she is allergic) with tempeh, because we wanted to what the tempeh was all about.

The verdict? Tempeh = Tasty! In fact both salads were outstanding! We already planning on going there again next week :)

April 12, 2010

100 Cheesiest Movie Quotes

I believe I've shared this before, but before I got into interior design and cooking (and weddings) I was a total film geek. This movie montage of the 100 Cheesiest Movie Quotes, just makes me smile :)

I love that line from Notting Hill... "I'm also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. "

Which is your favorite?

April 10, 2010

Frenchie Kisses: We're Here and We're Married

After taking our portraits we met up with our bridal party and got ready to enter the reception.


After our guest were all seated, the lead singer of the band introduced the bridal party. Groomsman Joe and his wife, BM Jane.

Groomsman Jer and BM Felicia…

Best Man Brandon with MOH, Sister Frenchie…

We waited for Brandon and Jen to get to their tables and then we were announced, “For the first time in public Allison and Jason French Bulldog.” (I stressed the the band leader that I wanted my name, just like in our ceremony).

The classic bouquet in the air pose!

From this picture you would never guess Mr Frenchie hates being the center of attention.


I however love it!

We decided to go straight into our first dance. We seen this done at most the weddings we’d attended, but mainly because Mr Frenchie wanted to get it out of the way so he could relax the rest of the evening.

Back when Mr Frenchie and I first starting dating (about 4 years ago) we took a dance class at my church. I was SO very excited to be dating a guy that would take dance classes with me and take me dance.

The little old ladies at my church thought we were so cute and even cut in to dance with Mr Frenchie… okay so maybe they thought he was so cute. I will never forget that date.

Fast forward three years, we’re engaged and planning our wedding, I ask Mr Frenchie about taking dance lessons for our first down and he’s not having it. *pouty face* Papa Frenchie brings up the idea that he and I could take dance lessons and Papa Frenchie talked Mr Frenchie into taking them too.

For a couple months I would take 2 dance lessons a week, one with Papa Frenchie and one with Mr Frenchie. Mr Frenchie admitted after the first lesson, that dance lessons were fun AND he’d actually go with me after the wedding. Thanks Papa Frenchie!

I’m not gonna lie, we only look graceful in these photos. You’ll see in the video, that although we took several dance lessons, we are nowhere near ready for Dancing With The Stars. However, I’m very glad Papa Frenchie talked Mr Frenchie into the lessons. Whenever “our song” comes around on the iTunes rotation at home, Mr Frenchie takes me hand and we do our dance.

Don’t worry I still tease Mr Frenchie about only dancing with me at the beginning of our relationship to get me to fall in love with him, once I was hooked he didn’t want to dance anymore.

After our first dance we took our seats at our “sweetheart table”

aka the Lovebird table and it was time for dinner.


Are you planning a choreographed first dance? Did you have to talk your partner into talking dance lessons? or get your father involved? ;-)

April 9, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You're a blog lurker
2 - You microwave a mean leftover
3 - You brought home soup for me when I was sick on Tuesday
4 - You like the things I cook
5 - If we get home at the same time, you give me the parking spot :)

April 8, 2010

Cooking Light: Butternut Squash Lasagna

Every Wednesday Hubs and I go over to our friends house for dinner and to watch Lost. Jane and I trade off making the main dish and the other is usually in charge of salad. When I was in school, the last couple months, Jane did most the main dish cooking and I made up for it with some tasty salads.

Yesterday was the first Wednesday, in awhile, I made the main dish. Since, as you know, I haven't been able to cook much lately, I really wanted to make something I'd never made before... Oh, and it needed to be low cal too! Jane and I always cook low cal options on Wednesday due to the amount of wine we all consume. Mmmmm wine.

So I looked high and low on Cooking Light's website for s dish that looks tasty, involved mostly ingredients I already owned and could be cooked easily at someone else's house or easily transported. This recipe won and it involves my butternut squash friend from above.

*Side note: We have an awesome farm about 2 miles from our apartment that sells organic and local produce... remind me to tell you about it soon.

This recipe calls for a specific kind of marinara sauce, "Smokey Marinara", so I'm going to give you the recipe for that first.

Smoky Marinara
Recipe adapted slightly from here on Cooking Light

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained

1 - Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

2 - Add garlic, basil, parsley, and oregano; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently.

3 - Stir in vinegar and remaining ingredients.

4 - Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Now that you've made the sauce you won't curse me when you get to that part of the lasagna process. "Damn it Allison, now you tell me about the sauce!" <-- See it's done, so you're good :) Butternut Squash Lasagna
Adapted slightly from this recipe on Cooking Light

3 cups chopped onion
10 cup fresh spinach
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
1/2 cup parsley flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
3 cups diced peeled butternut squash
6 cups Smoky Marinara (recipe above)
12 oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1 - Preheat oven to 375°.

2 - Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts.

3 - Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.

4 - Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender.

5 - Coat the bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes with cooking spray.

6 - Spread 1/2 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of one prepared dish. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.

7 - Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.

8 - Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan.

9 - Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients in remaining pan.

10 - Cover each pan with foil. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes.

11 - Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.


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