Adventures in Killing Plants: Homemade Fig Newtons

We have a very large fig tree in our back yard. It’s been growing for many years so there’s a good chance it will survive having me as a care taker. The first thing I wanted to try was making fig newtons. I like fig newtons for breakfast and fresh figs should make them better.  Below are some pictures of the process of making the cookies and the recipe. They turned out to be very tasty!


Fresh Figs from our tree.


Squishy chopped figs.


Lots of Chopped Figs!


Rolling out the fig crust.


Mushy Figs


Pan with Newton Crust


Figs ready for baking!


Homemade Fig Newtons

Fig Newtons (Homemade)



    • 1 lb dried figs or 2 lbs fresh figs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water (1 c. for dried figs, 1/2 c. for fresh)
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tablespoon cream or 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 3/4 cups flour


    1. Dice figs, soak in water 1 hour.
    2. Add sugar & cook on medium heat until of thin jam consistency.
    3. Beat sugar, butter, egg, milk & vanilla until well blended.
    4. Add dry ingredients.
    5. Mix well and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    6. Place 1/2 on well floured dough cloth; knead about 6 times.
    7. Roll out to 1/4″ thick. Line 13 x 9″ glass baking dish; cover with figs.
    8. Roll remaining dough, cover figs. Cook at 350° for 30 minutes.
    9. Let cool and cut into squares. Depending on the size you cut you can get a couple dozen cookies.

Independence Day: Firecracker 4 Miler

The 4th of July isn’t complete without the Firecracker 4 miler. I’v been running this race since 2011, but this year is by far the best weather for the race. It’s usually in the 90F’s for the race. Waking up to a cool 70F was a pleasant surprise!


“Cool” Texas July Weather


Post Firecracker 4 Miler Run 2013


Health Care Reimbursement Picture

New for this year, Dow will offer reimbursement for Gym membership fees if you go to the gym 16 times in 4 months….well my money goes to the gym. But the good news is I can get reimbursed as long as I run ONE 5k and take a picture crossing the finish line. Above is the picture I will submit, I hope they accept it!

2013 Firecracker 4 miler Results

2013 Firecracker 4 miler Results



Baby There’s a Shark in the Water

The good thing about having a pool in the back yard is it’s perfect for a post-race cool down!

GIrls Weekend 2013 – Wilmington, NC

For our 2013 Girls Weekend, the OU ChE Girls went to Wilmington NC June 27-30. We rented a 4 bedroom house for all of the girls and families to stay. We spent the weekend hanging out, going to the beach, eating, going to the aquarium and sleeping in. Well we slept in, one of the advantages of not having any kids. It was a super fun weekend and it was nice to catch up with everyone. And hopefully I’ll find time to upload mine and everyone’s pictures into a nice photobook!


Michelle and Dylan at the beach.


Krista and Drew Lusby at the beach.


Bree and Tyler Trembly at the beach.


Tim and I before dinner.


Wilmington River Walk


Krista Lusby, Bree Trembly, Alexia Finotello and Michelle Chung


Tim & I at the River Walk


An Adult Beverage


Alligator at the Aquarium


Hurricane Force Winds at the Aquarium.


With the hubby at the beach.


Big bad Daddy’s Restaruant


Everyone at the House

Kulinary Kitchen: Pasta Dishes

With my new Pepper Plate app I’ve been excited to try some new and easy recipes out. The first two I tried were Spicy Pesto Chicken Pasta and Tomato Basil  Pasta. I used the basil and cilantro from my garden. It’s nice that this year keeping up with my garden has paid off. Also a special thanks to Nikki Pietragallo for making the pesto with my basil for this dish! Both dishes were a hit!

Teena’s Spicy Pesto Chicken and Pasta


    • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked farfalle (bow tie) pasta
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon hot chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
    • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 6 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    • Bacon
    • Whole Pine Nuts


    1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place farfalle pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix in the chile paste and chicken. Cook and stir chicken 10 minutes, or until evenly browned and juices run clear.
    3. Toss the cooked farfalle, pesto, Parmesan cheese, and cilantro into the skillet, and continue cooking just until heated through.

My attempt at spicy pesto pasta.

Blow Your MIND” Tomato Basil Pasta

Throw it all in the pot, INCLUDING the uncooked Pasta, and cook! – Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a rich, warm sauce for the noodles. The other ingredients cook right along with the pasta

    • 12 ounces pasta
    • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
    • 1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
    • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
    • 2 large sprigs basil, chopped
    • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Parmesan cheese for garnish


    1. Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
    2. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .
    3. Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.


Add shrimp or meatballs.
Use rotel instead of diced tomatoes.
Makes a boat load.