Archive for November, 2009

30th Birthday Weekend In Austin, TEXAS

Posted by: Frances

November 4th, 2009 >> Holidays

As the story goes…  Matt and I went to Austin on October 29, my 30th birthday, and went to Olive Garden upon our arrival to celebrate.  I love Olive Garden, especially the Chicken Alfredo with Gnocchi (which I order EVERY time)!  On Friday, my sister and mother decorated and prepared for the HUGE party they were putting on for the October babies (My dad, Jay, Matt, and I).  When we arrived birthday hats and glitter cups were sitting on the table awaiting our use.  She also made each of our favorite dinners, snacks, cakes, beer, sangria, and a CD with 15 of each of of favorite songs.  We even got M&Ms with special writing on it.  Mine were purple and some said, “dad’s favorite” and “Frances is 30″.  It was fantastic and tons of fun.  I will not forget this birthday for sure, we all had a blast laughing and singing to the crazy mix of songs and jokes.



Then, on Halloween day we all went to see Michael Jackson movie This is It at the IMax at Tinseltown in Pflugerville.  I loved it and thought it was very well done considering the footage available.  If you get a chance definitely go see it at the IMax.

That evening Matt, Jackie (my sister), and I dressed up for a Halloween Celebration Downtown on Austin 6th St.  I was a police woman, Matt was my prisoner, and Jackie was the famous Cyndi Lauper.  We had so much fun.  We ended up at Speakeasy and enjoyed LC Rocks, an 80s cover band.  They rocked the house!  I love those guys.  I also had the opportunity to see all of my friends that night and jam.  At the end of the night we went to Katz Deli for breakfast with the band and other “groupies”.


This was a weekend to remember thanks to my sister especially… my family and my friends!  I enjoyed every moment of this trip home and can’t wait to do it again for New Years!

Tuscan Style Grilled Tuna Steaks & Green Beans with Garlic & Lemon

Posted by: Frances

November 3rd, 2009 >> Cooking

This was a great dish.  It had flavor and it was moist and complimented each other perfectly.


Tuscan-Style Grilled Tuna Steaks


  • 4 fresh tuna steaks, 8 ounces each, 1-inch thick
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 tablespoons leaves stripped from stem
  • Handful flat leaf parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Coarse salt and black pepper or grill seasoning
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for cooking


Rinse and pat tuna steaks dry. Place zest on top of cutting board. Pile rosemary and parsley leaves on top of zest. Pile garlic and some coarse salt and black pepper or grill seasoning on top of herbs. Finely chop the garlic, herbs, and spices. Drizzle the olive oil over the tuna steaks just enough to coat each side. Rub herb and garlic mixture into fish, coating pieces evenly on each side. Let stand 10 minutes.

Grill tuna steaks 6 minutes on each side or 4 minutes on each side, if you prefer pink tuna at the center. Cook steaks over: high setting on indoor electric grill, medium high heat on outdoor gas grill or, 6 inches from hot, prepared charcoal.

Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic


  • 2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Blanch green beans in a large stock pot of well salted boiling water until bright green in color and tender crisp, roughly 2 minutes. Drain and shock in a bowl of ice water to stop from cooking.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and the butter. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans and continue to saute until coated in the butter and heated through, about 5 minutes. Add lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

My 30th Birthday in Austin, TX with Family and Friends!

Posted by: Frances

November 3rd, 2009 >> Outdoor Activities

Well today I am going to work from 645am to 230pm, then getting on a plane with Matt and going to AUSTIN, TX (home)!!!  I am really excited to see everyone.  My family is throwing us October babies a big party on Friday night!  Then, on Halloween we are going to be heading down to Speakeasy on Congress Ave to see LC Rocks perform and see all my friends I miss so much!  Hope to see everyone there because I am only home for 3 days before flying back to good old Greenville, SC.